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Starbucks is giving free coffee to frontline workers all through December

"Starting December 1 through December 31, any customer who identifies as a front-line responder to the COVID-19 outbreak will receive a tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) at no charge," the company said.

Starbucks is giving free coffee to frontline workers all through December
Cover Image Source: The Starbucks logo is displayed in the window of a Starbucks Coffee shop on January 24, 2019, in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Starbucks is offering free coffee to "those keeping our communities safe during COVID-19" all through the month of December. The multinational chain of coffeehouses announced Tuesday that it launched the initiative in response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and to acknowledge the continued efforts of the front line workers in the fight against the pandemic. According to the press release, "starting December 1 through December 31, any customer who identifies as a front-line responder to the COVID-19 outbreak will receive a tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) at no charge."



"It has been an extraordinarily difficult year, especially for the front-line responders who are serving our communities," Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks vice president, Global Social Impact, said in a statement. "We want to show our deep gratitude for those who support and protect us every day with a small gesture of kindness and a cup of coffee." The company explained that the offer will be available to doctors, nurses, public health workers, pharmacists, dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, law enforcement officers, dentists, dental hygienists, mental health workers (therapist, psychologist, social worker, counselor, etc.), hospital staff such as janitor/housekeeping/security, military on active duty, contact tracers, vaccine and pharmaceutical researchers, pilots, flight attendants, TSA, and medical researchers.



Furthermore, Starbucks also donated $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to support virtual mental health resources for front-line responders. The company added that it "has plans to surprise 50,000 front-line responders with care packages and Starbucks gift cards this holiday season." The coffee giant stepped in to say thank you to first responders earlier this year in March as well when it launched a similar initiative. The company revealed that since March, "The Starbucks Foundation has donated more than $1 million to support front-line responders, including delivery of personal protective equipment, essential medical items, care packages, and handwritten letters, and support for emergency assistance including mental health resources for first responders and health care workers."



Starbucks has reportedly provided over 2 million free cups of coffee to front-line responders since the spread of COVID-19 in the country and sent out 300,000 care packages and letters—each with 1 pound of Starbucks whole bean coffee—to first responders and health care workers in partnership with Operation Gratitude. Moreover, 120,000 cups of coffee and thousands of Starbucks gift cards were provided to local hospitals and front-line responders in addition to 110 pallets of K-Cup pod donations to hospitals and military units.



"This moment in time, as the world is united in an effort to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, requires coordinated action by governments, health care providers, businesses, and people in every community. Working together, we are making a difference and, together, we will overcome this unprecedented challenge. I am inspired by our Starbucks store partners around the world who proudly wear the green apron and who are rising to the occasion. They demonstrate our resilience and our commitment to the communities we serve," Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in an open letter earlier this year.



"Starbucks continues to act based on three simple principles: ensuring the health and well-being of our partners and customers, supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain and mitigate this virus, and showing up as a responsible member of the 32,000 communities in which we are the Third Place. It is the responsibility of every business to care for its employees during this time of uncertainty, shared sacrifice, and common cause. I hope to see many business leaders across this country doing all they can to retain jobs, pay employees, continue benefits, and demonstrate compassion as they make critical decisions. Not every decision is a financial one," he continued. "I am optimistic that together we can overcome this challenge. The human experience is about overcoming adversity by being resilient, and that is certainly on display across the nation. We will overcome this. Our resilience will be rewarded."

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