SEATTLE -- Starbucks is offering a pick-me-up to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting Wednesday, all police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital workers and medical researchers can grab a free tall coffee--hot or iced--from participating Starbucks nationwide.
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The Starbucks Foundation is also donating $500,000 to organizations delivering care packages and medical items to emergency rooms.
"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 a letter to customers. "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."
The free coffee will be available until May 3.
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On March 20, Starbucks announced that it would close all of its cafes in the United States and Canada, limiting service to drive-thru and delivery only. In the same letter, officials said all U.S. employees will still be paid for the next 30 days, whether they chose to stay home or come into work.
Starbucks gives free coffee to first responders, health care workers battling COVID-19 pandemic