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7-11 will not serve free Slurpees on July 11 due to COVID-19

7-Eleven will not offer free Slurpees on Saturday, July 11, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The quick-service store has observed the 11th day of July as free Slurpee day for nearly 20 years in honor of the date that doubles as an abbreviation for the store chain's name.

"Gathering nine million of our closest friends in stores on one day just didn't feel right," said Marissa Jarratt, 7-Eleven's chief marketing officer.

Federal public health guidelines advise against large gatherings indoors including in restaurants, bars and other closed spaces to stem the spread of the coronavirus. 

Instead, the company will offer the nearly 33 million users who have the 7-Eleven membership app installed on their devices as of July 1, a free medium Slurpee at any time this month.

The company also said it would donate 1 million meals to a hunger relief group, Feed America.

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