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Starbucks offering free coffee to health care workers and first responders for the entire month of December

Starbucks unveils 2020 holiday cups
Starbucks unveils 2020 holiday cups 00:10

First responders and health care workers can pick up a free cup of Starbucks coffee for the entire month of December. The company says the perk is "in response to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and to recognize the significant efforts of the front-line responder and health care community."

Through New Year's Eve, any person who identifies as a frontline responder to the coronavirus pandemic will be served a tall brewed iced or hot coffee at no cost, the company said on its COVID-19 response page.

Those who are eligible to claim a cup of coffee include doctors, pharmacists, firefighters, mental health workers and more. Hospital staff, such as security or housekeeping staff, and active-duty military, are also included.

There is no limit to the offer, the company told CBS News. Those who qualify can claim the deal as many times as they would like through the end of 2020.

"It has been an extraordinarily difficult year, especially for the front-line responders who are serving our communities," said Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks vice president of global social impact. "We want to show our deep gratitude for those who support and protect us every day with a small gesture of kindness and a cup of coffee."

The offer can be redeemed at company-operated locations in the U.S. and select licensed stores, according to Starbucks' website.

In addition, Starbucks said it has donated $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness "to support virtual mental health resources for front-line responders." It also said it plans to surprise 50,000 frontline responders with gift cards and care packages during the holiday season.

This is the second time Starbucks has offered free coffee to those fighting the pandemic. The company announced a similar deal for frontline responders in late March, with the offer ending on May 3. 

The company said it has given over 2 million free cups of coffee to frontline responders since the beginning of the pandemic, among other contributions.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus is once again across the U.S., with over 4 million cases reported in November alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Hospitals across the nation are treating more than 96,000 coronavirus patients, a new record, per the COVID Tracking Project.

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