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Starbucks just announced it will increase its commitment to open 100 Community Stores dedicated to providing economic opportunity in underserved rural and urban communities across the country. This follows the company’s original commitment in 2016. These stores will focus on hiring locally, creating dedicated space for communities to come together for events and working with diverse contractors for store construction and remodels.
“We believe it is our role and responsibility to partner with those in the communities we serve to help make a positive economic and social impact,” said John Kelly, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at Starbucks.
“These stores are successful and it’s time to expand the model. Over the last five years, we’ve seen these Community Stores empower our partners and customers to create meaningful impact that is localized and relevant to their neighborhoods. We’ve learned a great deal from our 14 Community Stores and applied those learnings to how we approach community partnership in more than 8,000 neighborhoods we serve across the country,’’ he added.
The Community Stores will share several common aspects compared to other Starbucks cafes. This includes locations in economically distressed communities, community events spaces, partnerships with local United Way chapters, and a focus on working and hiring locally.
As part of Starbucks’ national partnership with United Way, local United Way chapter will work with these community stores to create resources and programs for each community, from life skills training for youth to mentorship programs and beyond. That includes facilitating activities at the stores that support people in the community and help create real change in the communities in which they live and work.
“United Way and Starbucks share a commitment to ensuring every person has the opportunity to thrive, and we’re honored to partner with them,” said Suzanne McCormick, U.S. President of United Way Worldwide. “United Way has been connecting people to resources across the U.S. for more than 130 years, and we look forward to deploying United Way’s local expertise and experience to help Starbucks Community Stores make a real difference.”
In addition to the Community Store expansion, The Starbucks Foundation also announced it has awarded more than 1,000 Neighborhood Grants to empower store partners to strengthen relationships with local nonprofit organizations. Finally, to celebrate the Martin Luther King Week of Good, the Seattle-based coffee brand also initiated thousands of service projects nationwide.
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