Starbucks announced this week that it will offer a free tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) to front-line responders at U.S. Starbucks stores throughout the month of December to show appreciation for those keeping our communities safe during COVID-19.
“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,” said Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks vice president, Global Social Impact.
The offer is good through December 31 for any customer who identifies as a front-line responder, which Starbucks describes as: doctors, nurses, public health workers, pharmacists, dispatchers, fire fighters, paramedics, EMTs, law enforcement officers, dentists and 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.
To further provide community support, the company also has plans to surprise 50,000 front-line responders with care packages and Starbucks gift cards this holiday season.
The new promotion is similar to a previous giveaway aimed at health care workers, when the company pledged to give them a free cup of coffee from late March until May, which amounted to over 2 million brews.
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.
In partnership with Operation Gratitude, the Foundation says it has distributed 300,000 care packages with letters—containing 1 pound of whole bean coffee, along with 110 pallets of K-Cup pod donations to hospitals and military units during the pandemic.