Starbucks Expands COVID-19 Support Measures

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Image Credit: istock.com/southtownboy

VANCOUVER — Starbucks has continued to update its support measures, making 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,” states Lori Digulla, Starbucks Canada president, in an April 1 letter to employees.

Based on the continuing challenges caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, Starbucks has extended the temporary expansion of its Catastrophe Pay by an additional two weeks. This allows employees who are sick, unable to work or feel more comfortable self-isolating or not working to stay home and 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. Employees who are healthy and choose to work will receive an additional $3/hour with Starbucks Service Pay. Those experiencing COVID-19 financial burdens can apply for a one-time grant through the company’s emergency financial aid CUP Fund.

To support communities during this crisis, Starbucks Canada is assembling the largest and most comprehensive donation program in the company’s history. The program will support Canadians across the country in three areas: first responders and frontline workers; access to food; and support for the most vulnerable Canadians.

The first investment in Canada will be a $200,000 donation to support frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable Canadians, which includes the elderly and homeless. Of this, $100,000 will be given to COVID-19 fundraising drives set up by hospital foundations in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. The remaining $100,000 will go to United Way Centraide’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund, which supports agencies in local communities and help Canadians already facing barriers get through this challenging time.

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). 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.

The Starbucks Foundation will also contribute $1-million to Give2Asia to support a project focused on supporting frontline medical workers and helping protect local communities by strengthening capabilities at the grassroots level. This will 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 healthcare workers psychologically impacted by COVID-19.

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