Starbucks gives front-line workers freebie through May 31

Starbucks gives front-line workers freebie through May 31

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USA TODAY

Starbucks is extending its free coffee giveaway for first responders and health care workers serving on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Through May 31, “any customer who identifies as a first responder or front-line worker supporting the health care industry” will receive a free tall brewed coffee, either hot or iced, the coffee giant announced Thursday.

The offer is for police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital and medical staff and researchers, Starbucks said. 

Since initially announcing the initiative on March 25, Starbucks says it has served more than 1 million cups of free coffee to the essential workers in the U.S. and Canada.

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Starbucks announced the extension a day after McDonald’s launched its own promotion for health care workers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Through May 5, the fast-food chain is giving the front-line workers free “Thank You Meals” at the drive thru or for carry out.

Starbucks switched to a drive-thru and delivery-only model March 21. Beginning May 4, the company “will re-open as many stores as we can with modified operations,” Starbucks executive vice president and president of U.S. company-operated business Rossann Williams said in an April 16 letter to employees.

Retailers across the nation also are giving priority access to health care workers and first responders and have designated special shopping hours, which are similar to what retailers introduced in March for seniors and shoppers with underlying health concerns.

Some businesses including restaurants and convenience stores are offering discounts and freebies including coffee and meals.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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