Starbucks Offers Free Coffee to Healthcare Workers, First Responders Battling CCP Virus

March 26, 2020 Updated: March 26, 2020

Starbucks announced Wednesday it will offer free coffee to healthcare workers and customers who identify as front-line responders as America works to control the spread of the pandemic caused by the CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus.

From now through May 3, healthcare workers, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and medical researchers will be eligible to receive a tall-sized hot or iced brewed coffee at no charge, the coffee chain announced in a blog post on Wednesday.

The Seattle-based company’s charitable arm, The Starbucks Foundation, also announced Wednesday it is donating half a million dollars towards CCP virus response efforts across the United States. The funds will be spent on 50,000 care packages for healthcare workers and personal protective medical equipment and other critical medical supplies.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

The move from Starbucks was inspired by the actions of a regional store manager, who prepared and delivered coffee to police officers, fire fighters, senior centres and nursing homes, with messages of thanks after reading an excerpt from the Starbucks operations handbook, which noted: “Now more than ever, the world needs places to come together with compassion and love. We provide consistency to create a sense of certainty in an uncertain world.”

“We decided to bring a little something to people serving our community—people who are experiencing even more uncertainty and unease than we are right now,” store manager Kyle Hansen said. “We may have to get creative, but there’s always something small we can do to make a difference—to uplift the days of people who are going through a really hard time.”

It comes after Starbucks on Friday said it would close the majority of company operated cafes across North America for 14 days, operating as drive-through and delivery only in efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

Rossann Williams, president of U.S. company-operated and Canadian businesses, said in a letter that Starbucks cafes located around hospitals and health care centers are exempt from the temporary closures.

The world’s largest coffee chain also announced on the same day that it would pay its employees for the next 30 days regardless of whether they come to work or not. It is also offering childcare support, mental health and sick pay benefits, and catastrophe pay.

The measure is one of the latest in a string of efforts implemented to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. According to a tracking map maintained by Johns Hopkins University, the United States has reported 69,018 COVID-19 cases and 1,042 deaths as of Wednesday.