Starbucks has committed to donating $10 million in grants to employees affected by COVID-19 through its newly established Global Partner Emergency Relief Program. Grants are available to employees in need at company-owned and licensed stores worldwide. Outside of North America, grants will be made available to licensed store employees through the Emergency Assistance Foundation and through the EMEA Partner Relief Fund for employees in European company-owned stores.
Starbucks employees in “disaster designated areas” will be immediately eligible to apply for these one-time, direct relief grants. Qualified grant categories include housing and utilities, sudden loss of home, death of a family member or partner, and related funeral expenses.
“As we navigate this global crisis, we never lose sight of the wellbeing of our partners, who are the heartbeat of this company,” Lucy Helm, chief partner officer of Starbucks said in a statement. “During this very difficult time, we believe it is our responsibility to create additional support for partners facing unexpected financial hardship wherever they are. We are proud to be a catalyst for a first-of-its-kind global funding initiative to further demonstrate to our Starbucks partners that we are in this together.”
This announcement follows other recent initiatives meant to help Starbucks employees survive the coronavirus crisis financially, including a $3 pay raise for all employees that are still working in stores put into effect at the end of March, and the implementation of catastrophe pay that covers those who have been quarantined and/or exposed to COVID-19.
However, this commitment of $10 million toward the Global Partner Emergency Relief Program marks the first time that both company-operated and internationally licensed international stores will have access to Starbucks’ funds for those affected by the pandemic.
This investment will support Starbucks already-existing CUP Program — a financial assistance program funded by Starbucks employees to help their colleagues – as well as the new Starbucks EMEA Partner Relief Fund. The $10 million commitment is also meant to assistance international markets in creating their own funds for their employees in need.
“Our goal at the Emergency Assistance Foundation is to help individuals financially during times of disaster and hardship,” Doug Stockham, president of the Emergency Assistant Foundation said. “People around the globe are affected by COVID-19, and we pride ourselves on being the financial first responders.”
Starbucks did not respond in time to a request for more information on distribution of and applications for grants.
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