Building on its long-standing commitment to the local communities where it serves its customers, Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX – News) recently awarded 50 Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants totaling $842,000 to U.S. nonprofit organizations that help young people identify and address local needs in their regions and make a difference through community outreach.

Fifty organizations in 17 states received Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. The Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants aim to engage and support 50,000 young people by 2015, who will in turn innovate, take action, and inspire additional individuals to take part in community service.

“From the neighborhoods where our stores are located to the ones where our coffee is grown, we believe in being involved in the communities we’re a part of,” says Vivek Varma, senior vice president of Public Affairs.

“Starbucks is excited about the opportunity to partner with passionate young people to help spur community based volunteer efforts. Our Shared Planet grants are designed to fuel the energy and creativity of young people in these communities, helping them bring people together, generate change and make a difference.”

Beyond the United States, Starbucks also supports youth action around the world. Six nonprofit organizations in Canada and one in Argentina were also recently awarded Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.

There are additional proposals currently under review internationally in countries where Starbucks does business.

Also as part of Starbucks Shared Planet commitment to community, Starbucks set a goal to contribute over one million partner-led community service hours per year by 2015.

Complete details about the company’s community programs in 2008 can be viewed in the 2008 Global Responsibility Report launching today on Starbucks’ Web site.

Charitable Giving, News, Starbucks