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Starbucks offers free coffee to health care workers

Starbucks is bringing back its free coffee giveaway for first responders and health care workers as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.

The Seattle-based coffee giant announced Tuesday that through Dec. 31 “any customer who identifies as a front-line responder to the COVID-19 outbreak” will receive a free tall brewed coffee, hot or iced.

“Our hope with this is to reignite the movement of gratitude and to show those on the front line how much they are appreciated,” Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks vice president of global social impact, said in an interview with USA TODAY. “For us, we believe that one way we can do this is by offering a free cup of coffee.”

The free coffee offer can be redeemed at Starbucks U.S. company-operated locations and select licensed stores.

It’s for doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, dentists, dental hygienists, mental health workers, active-duty military and hospital staff. (See the full list of who is eligible for the free coffee promotion below).

In the early days of the pandemic, Starbucks was one of the first companies to offer a freebie for those working on the front line. The company said it served more than 2 million free cups between March and the end of May.

“Hopefully other brands will join us in thinking about how can they use their platform to again show support,” Tenpenny said. “Little deposits in morale can really go a long way, just so that they feel the support from our community.”

The Starbucks Foundation has donated more than $1 million since March to support front-line responders with the delivery of personal protective equipment, essential medical items, care packages and handwritten letters as well as mental health resources.

In July, Starbucks started requiring customers and employees to wear face masks when they enter stores. Other businesses followed Starbucks with mask policies including Walmart and Target.

Sandesh Ilhe
Sandesh Ilhe
With an Engineers degree in Advanced Database Management and Information Security, Sandesh brings the deep understanding of the digital world to the table. His articles reflect the challenges and the complexities that come along with every disruption in the industry. He carries over six years of experience on working with websites and ensuring that the right article reaches the right reader.