Starbucks to Offer Free Coffee to US First Responders, Healthcare Providers in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic

Starbucks is pitching in to help lighten the stress for individuals working through the cornavirus crisis by giving free coffee to healthcare workers and first responders. The deal starts today and will run through May 3. According to Delish.com, customers who identify as a "first responder or frontline worker supporting our healthcare system" will be given a free tall hot or iced coffee.

Starbucks says that anyone including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, medical researchers and hospital and medical staff will all be included on this deal. Not only that, the Starbucks Foundation is also planning on donating $500,000 to to two different organizations that aid in those who are on the frontline of the pandemic. Half of their funds will be going towards Operation Gratitude, which helps with the delivery of 50,000 care packages to those working in the healthcare industry. The other half will go towards Direct Relief which will "support the delivery of personal protective equipment and essential medical items."

In a statement, Rossann Williams who is the EVP and president of both the U.S. and Canadian stores, delivered a message informing the new changes taking place to benefit their workers and customers.

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"Thank you again to the nearly 6,000 partners who joined me and our executive leaders this week for our second live discussion on COVID-19," the statement started off. "We are navigating this crisis minute-by-minute, day-by-day, adjusting as we learn more. Your understanding, flexibility and straight talk are immensely appreciated, and much needed in this moment. Today, we have some important new information about additional steps we are taking to ensure your safety and stability during this crisis."

She announced that Starbucks is only doing drive-thru orders, keeping customers out of their stores itself to help keep everyone involved as safe as possible from contracting COVID-19. In addition, the company will also be paying all of their employees in both the U.S. and Canada catastrophe pay for the next 30 days whether they choose to go into work or not. They will also be offering sick pay benefits and childcare support. The company announced that their new health benefits include 20 free sessions per year with a mental health therapist or coach, and they also expanded their childcare benefits increasing back-up care days through Care@Work from 10 to 20 allowing workers to get reimbursed up to $125 per day for childcare costs.