SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Starbucks will start donating their unsold food, the coffee chain announced Tuesday.

The company will give the leftovers from its 7,000-plus U.S. locations to a national network of food banks.

READ MORE: Home Alone: Helping Pandemic Pets Cope When Their Owners Return To Work

The idea came from one of the baristas behind the counter, CEO Howard Schultz said.

READ MORE: Neighbors Creating Holiday Magic On Candy Cane Lane In Pleasanton Since 1953

The move to give away items including breakfast sandwiches, paninis, and salads could translate into as many as five million meals a year.

The company has invested in research to determine how to keep the food safe until it is consumed.

MORE NEWS: As Oakland Lawmakers Prepare To Vote To Increase Police Staffing New Report Questions Need

The USDA estimates that 30 to 40 percent of the America’s food supply goes to waste.