Starbucks to give free coffee to first responders, health care workers amid coronavirus pandemic


Starbucks announced Wednesday that it will give a free coffee to any customer who “identifies as a front-line responder” to the coronavirus pandemic and announced a $500,000 donation to support first responders and health care workers.

In a Wednesday blog post, Jennifer Warnick, a “senior storyteller” for the coffee giant, confirmed that beginning Wednesday through May 3, any customer who is a “front-line” responder to the coronavirus pandemic can receive a tall hot or iced brewed coffee for free.

The offer applies to police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital and medical staff and medical researchers, USA Today reported.

The post also tells the story of Starbucks store manager Kyle Hansen, who, alongside other employees, decided to deliver coffee with messages of thanks to police officers, fire fighters, senior centers and more. 

In a separate Wednesday post, the company confirmed that the Starbucks Foundation will donate $500,000 to “support U.S. front-line responders.” The donation will be divided equally between the organization Direct Relief “to support the delivery of personal protective equipment and essential medical items” and Operation Gratitude, which will “deliver 50,000 care packages and handwritten letters to first responders and health care workers.”

Starbucks announced last week that the company would switch to only serving customers via drive-thru or deliveries in an effort to reduce contact during the pandemic. The change is expected to last two weeks.

At least 62,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with coronavirus as of Wednesday, and at least 890 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

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