Starbucks ALL.IN. community-service initiative is ‘us at our best’

Group of smiling Starbucks partners holding up brightly colored notebooks and school supplies

Starbucks Partner Networks will host 23 events in 2023 to address food scarcity, health and education across the country.   

In the spring of 2020, with the country locked down by the COVID-19 pandemic and raw following a series of racially charged shootings, Roz Brewer, who was then Starbucks chief operating officer, empowered the Starbucks Black Partner Network (BPN) to think about impactful ways Starbucks could show up for the community. 

Troy James, a licensed store district manager and BPN leader in New Orleans at the time, took the call to heart. He pulled together the connections he had and led a community resource distribution event that summer, passing out back-to-school kits, boxes of food and sanitizing supplies.  

“Reflecting on that period, there was widespread fear and anger; everyone felt trapped in this seminal moment in time,” recalls James, now a manager with Starbucks Inclusion and Diversity team. “The concept of hosting an event to encourage and unite people was compelling, so we engaged.” 

That drive sparked a collaboration between Starbucks Partner Networks, licensed and company-operated stores, nonprofits, food banks and government agencies. It’s been transformed into a block-party format – the blueprint for a nationwide Starbucks co-created community-service initiative called ALL.IN. 

In 2023, Starbucks will host 23 ALL.IN. events. The series known as “23 in 23” kicked off in New Orleans, followed by Las Vegas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. On July 29, Starbucks hosted seven simultaneous events in Seattle; Tucson, Arizona; Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Atlanta; Mobile, Alabama and Buffalo, New York. 

In August, events will take place in Los Angeles; Tacoma, Washington; Portland, Oregon; St. Louis; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Diego; Dallas; Milwaukee; Detroit; Houston; Chicago, Washington D.C. and the New York Metro area.  

“It’s a wonderful story of opportunity for our partners, for our communities, and for our brand to live into our mission statement,” James says. “Each city is going to write their own chapter. Each city has a fascinating story.”  

Through ALL.IN., Starbucks local leaders bring together coalitions to address needs around food scarcity, health and well-being and education in their respective communities. Meanwhile, the events provide leadership and personal and professional development opportunities. Each event is locally driven and built with the participation of retail partners, a local non-profit organization, Starbucks Partner Networks and community business partners.   

The Seattle event was held at the Starbucks Support Center with community partners Seattle Seahawks and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Puget Sound. Backpacks, school supplies, laptops, Wi-Fi hotspot devices and other items were distributed to school-age youth and their families or guardians. Other services were also provided, including health screenings, job placement and training support.   

Since 2020 – at 30 previous ALL.IN. events across the country – 23,000 people have been served, 22,000 backpacks donated and 90,000 pounds of food distributed. Licensee partners including Target and Kroger and various nonprofits, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, have donated a combined $721,000 worth of goods and services. And Starbucks partners have volunteered more than 4,400 combined community service hours.  

“While our focus may be on giving away backpacks and preparing families for back-to-school, it's also a vessel for delivering hope, care, and a sincere wish for people to experience a better day," James says. “I’m hoping that partners and customers and the community can experience that at our events. This is human connection, this is grassroots, this is us working together intentionally. This is us at our best.” 

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