As we continue to navigate through the uncertainty of COVID-19, Starbucks is increasing its already expanded support for its partners (employees), customers, and communities. Through this lens of care and support for people, the company has and will continue to make all decisions, rooted in facts and science, in cooperation with local authorities.
“As we look ahead, your safety and well-being remain our top priority as the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve,” wrote Lori Digulla, Starbucks Canada president, in a letter to all partners today.
In her letter, Digulla outlined important announcements related to partner, customer, and community care.
Caring for our Partners and Customers
As the global health crisis continues, Starbucks announced today that it will extend its temporarily expanded COVID-19 benefit of Catastrophe Pay by an additional two weeks. That means any partner who is sick, unable to work or who feels more comfortable self-isolating or not working can stay home and will be paid for their scheduled shifts until May 3.
Starbucks other COVID-19 benefits — Starbucks Service Pay and CUP Fund — will also be extended until May 3. Partners who are healthy and choose to work will receive an additional $3 per hour with Starbucks Service Pay. Partners experiencing COVID-19 financial burdens can apply for a one-time grant with the company’s emergency financial aid CUP Fund. And all partners always have access to significant free resources through our Employee Assistance Program, in addition to a free subscription to the meditation app Headspace.
Caring for our Communities
While stores across the country continue to support communities at local levels, we are assembling the biggest, most comprehensive donation program in the history of Starbucks Canada to support Canadians across the country in three areas: first responders and front-line workers; access to food; and support for the most vulnerable Canadians.
Today, The Starbucks Foundation announced the first investment in Canada will be a $200,000 donation to support front-line health care workers and vulnerable Canadians, which includes the elderly and homeless.
Of that total donation, $100,000 will be given to COVID-19 fundraising drives set up by hospital foundations in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
This is another way Starbucks is supporting first responders. Last week, the company announced it will give a free tall brewed coffee to front-line responders to the COVID-19 outbreak through May 3. Thus far, we’ve already donated over 50,000 cups!
The other $100,000 from The Starbucks Foundation will go to United Way Centraide’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund. The United Way works with a number of agencies to support local communities and to help Canadians already facing barriers (such as poverty, homelessness, or social isolation) get through this challenging time. Starbucks partners have always cared most for Canadians who need a fair shot and who are at risk of being left behind at the best of times, and especially during a crisis, which is why this donation is so meaningful.
The donation will help the United Way accomplish its priorities: to ensure people in self-isolation have basic needs, such as food and supplies; to give support to seniors in isolation; and to ensure mental health services are available to vulnerable Canadians.
“[COVID-19] hasn’t changed the value and work that we’ve done. It’s just amplified and heightened what we’re doing in the community, which is working with the most marginalized populations to support the greatest needs,” said Colin Jenkins, senior manager of corporate donor relations at United Way Greater Toronto.
On a global scale, The Starbucks Foundation will contribute $1 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization (WHO), powered by the United Nations. The fund strengthens WHO’s efforts to track and understand the spread of the virus, help patients get the care they need, and workers get essential supplies and information, and accelerates the development of vaccines, tests, and treatments.
In China, early signs of recovery from COVID-19 are showing. That’s why The Starbucks Foundation will also contribute $1 million to Give2Asia to support a project focused on supporting front-line medical workers and helping protect local communities by strengthening capabilities at the grassroots level. The $1 million donation to Give2Asia will help provide training on coronavirus prevention, diagnosis and treatment to doctors in less developed areas, educate local communities on disease prevention, and offer free counseling to health care workers psychologically impacted by COVID-19.
Starbucks is dedicated to serving our communities in the most impactful way we can. To learn more about how Starbucks is managing through COVID-19, please visit our blog.