Uplifting Communities, One Bread at a Time

‘Food Share’ program of Starbucks Philippines enjoyed by kids since 1997.

Filipinos worldwide are known to be compassionate and hospitable. They are very much service-oriented and generally rich in values. Tourists often praise the Filipino people by how good and kind they are because this stems from the rich culture that Filipinos are taught. The term bayanihan best describes this attitude. It is where people help one another, work towards a common goal, and in the long run, make a task easier for everybody.

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The spirit of bayanihan is very much alive in the Filipino society. When calamity strikes, we see everyone – from government institutions to civic organizations – work hand in hand to help those who are affected. This value can also be seen in everyday life as those who are able to help actually provide aid – like shelter, clothing, and of course, food – to those in need.

In the 2015 SWS survey, 3.5 million families have said that they experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the last quarter of 2015. In the spirit of bayanihan, many organizations like VIDES and Ang Bahay Parola help address the hunger situation in the country, as well as help less-fortunate people to get an education and live decently. True to the spirit of the celebrated Filipino value, private companies like Starbucks Philippines also help these organizations in terms of food and in-kind donations.

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“At VIDES, we have always emphasized the importance of CSR activities, as well as minimizing food wastage. Starbucks also values these,” Jojo Carrasco of VIDES Philippines. VIDES is an international volunteering organization that focuses on doing development projects such as community-based mobile education programs and microfinancing small businesses.

Since 2011, VIDES picks up unsold ambient pastries regularly from several Starbucks stores and distributes the food to the participants of the community-based mobile education project for local kids. The global coffee brand also donated old planners as notebooks and posters making sure that the children have visual aids.

Another organization that Starbucks Philippines has helped is Ang Bahay Parola, the mercy arm of Mission to the World Philippines Foundation, a child welfare agency based in Sta. Rosa, Laguna that is committed to protect and nurture Filipino street children by providing them a home.

Fulfilling its mission of inspiring and nurturing the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time, Starbucks has been donating unsold ambient pastries to the two organization houses in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Bacoor, Cavite with 25 children in each house since 2003.

With the regular supply of food from Starbucks, the organization saw an opportunity to reallocate a chunk of the budget to other things. “Instead of spending money for the kids’ snacks, we were able to reallocate the budget for other needs like hygiene supplies and clothes,” said Rosita Barrientos of Ang Bahay Parola.

“It’s a simple act of not letting unsold food go to waste that gives a fulfilling experience because we know it helps those who are in need,” said Starbucks store manager Kaye Cayco. “I am very happy to be part of Starbucks, which gives us opportunities like this to help others.”

“We have always believed that Starbucks can – and should — have a positive impact on the communities we serve. This simple initiative of donating unsold food to NGOs has been a practice since we opened our first store and we are glad to be able to share what we have with others.” said Noey Lopez, president for Starbucks Philippines.

As of today, over 200 Starbucks stores around the country donate unsold ambient pastries to over 30 non-governmental organizations. Starbucks® FoodShare, launched in the US last March 2016 as collaboration with Feeding America, is a program where partners (employees) can donate ready-to-eat meals to food banks from its 7,800 company-operated stores. It is one of the ways the global coffee brand fulfills its mission to minimize food wastage and improve the lives of their fellowmen.

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About VIDES

VIDES Philippines Volunteers Foundation, Inc. is a duly registered non-government organization with the Securities and Exchange Commission since 2001. It is also licensed to operate by the Department of Social Welfare and Development since 2008. VIDES stands for Volunteers International for Development, Education, and Solidarity. It aims to protect the rights and provide well-being of women and children at risk, and mobilize young professionals as volunteers and advocates. For more information, visit http://www.videspinoy.org/

About Ang Bahay Parola

Ang Bahay Parola (ABP), is the mercy arm of Mission to the World (MTW) Philippines Foundation Inc. A child welfare agency that is committed to further the development of the full potential to the Filipino street children, protect them from any form of abuse, uphold their rights, and promote their best welfare and interest. For more information, visit http://angbahayparola.weebly.com/