Starbucks Corp. plans to create 240,000 new jobs around the world, 68,000 in the U.S., the company announced along with other initiatives at its annual investor meeting Wednesday. The new jobs will come as the company opens 12,000 new cafes by fiscal 2021, 3,400 of those stores will be in the U.S. The company plans to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses, after reaching a prior goal of hiring 10,000. Starbucks came under fire last month after President Donald Trump supporters started the #BoycottStarbucks campaign in response to the company's pledge to hire 10,000 refugees around the world. The company has now formally partnered with the United Nations' refugee agency to reach candidates. After announcing gluten-free and vegan additions to its menu on Tuesday, Starbucks has also announced the launch of the Starbucks Mercato menu in more than 100 Chicago stores on April 11. The lunch menu will include salads and sandwiches to meet a variety of dietary needs with leftover items donated nightly to local food banks through the Starbucks FoodShare program with Feed America. The My Starbucks Barista app, which allows voice and messaging ordering, is being rolled out to iOS users, and the mobile order-and-pay platform is being expanded to Ford Motor Co. cars equipped with Sync 3 technology later this year. This is Chief Executive Howard Schultz's final annual meeting before moving to the executive chairman role. Kevin Johnson will succeed him on April 3, as previously announced. Starbucks shares are up 0.8% in Wednesday trading, and down 5.7% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 14.5% for the last 12 months.
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