WebMD News Brief

Companies Offer Freebies to Health Care Workers

Doctor in mask

March 30, 2020 -- Companies around the world are giving out free food, services, and products to health care workers who are risking their own lives to help others through the coronavirus pandemic.

Starbucks is offering all front-line responders a free tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) through May 3. The Starbucks Foundation will also donate $500,000 to organizations supporting health care workers.

Krispy Kreme is offering anyone in the medical community a dozen doughnuts, free of charge, every Monday from today through May 11. “Just go to a Krispy Kreme drive-thru, tell us what you need and show us your employer badge,” Krispy Kreme announced on its website. “That’s it. Pick up some free dozens on the way to work for you and your colleagues, or maybe a free dozen on your way home to family after a long shift.”

Sweetgreen is delivering free salads and bowls to hospital workers in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.

Uber Eats has pledged to give 300,000 free meals to first responders and health care workers in the U.S. and Canada. Uber also tweeted that it’s offering discounted rides to some medical personnel.

Crocs announced it’s donating 10,000 pairs of shoes a day to the health care workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. “Now and always, we need to take care of each other,” the brand tweeted. “Sending love to you, #CrocNation. And sending free shoes to our frontline heroes in healthcare.”

Allbirds is also donating shoes to the medical community. The brand says it’s already given out $500,000 worth of shoes and has added a “buy a pair, give a pair” option to its website so customers can pitch in, too.

In an attempt to ease health care workers’ stress, Headspace, a popular meditation app, is offering free subscriptions to anyone working in a public health setting.

Airbnb will provide free or discounted housing to 100,000 health care workers, in an effort “to help connect those responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with safe and convenient places to stay while they carry out their critical work.”

Meanwhile, in New York City, the Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street will provide free rooms to medical personnel responding to the coronavirus pandemic. In a tweet, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo thanked the Four Seasons and called on more hotels in the city to do the same.

Hospitals across the country have been inundated with people as COVID-19 spreads. That means doctors, nurses, and first responders are working as hard as ever to treat an unprecedented amount of people in need of care. The CDC is asking health care workers to acknowledge the stress that comes with their jobs and allow time for themselves as much as possible. Read more stress-relieving tips from the CDC here.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on March 30, 2020

Sources

Starbucks: “Navigating through COVID-19.”

Krispy Kreme: “Our Response to COVID-19.”

Sweetgreen: “Sweetgreen Outpost.”

Uber: “Supporting cities and communities around the world.”

Twitter:  @Crocs, March 25, 2020.

Allbirds: “We’re better together.”

LinkedIn: “Weathering the Storm: Helping the World Curb Rising Stress and Anxiety with COVID-19.”

Twitter: @Headspace, March 16, 2020.

Airbnb: “Airbnb Hosts to Help Provide Housing to 100,000 COVID-19 Responders.”

Twitter: @NYGovCuomo, March 25, 2020.

CDC: “Manage anxiety & stress.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.