Starbucks invested $300,000 this week to help increase equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and help underserved communities become vaccinated.
Of that money, $250,000 went to Team Rubicon – a non-profit that mobilizes veterans and their skills to help people recover from humanitarian disasters – which is currently working to deliver vaccines to rural and tribal communities with limited healthcare resources through mobile and fixed vaccination sites.
Team Rubicon has, to date, delivered almost 1 million vaccines, according to Starbucks.
The other $50,000 went to two local Seattle-area hospitals – Swedish and UW Medicine – to help support mobile clinics that are delivering vaccines to vulnerable and underserved communities in the city.
The Seattle-based quick-service coffee chain is also working with Team Rubicon to develop a “playbook” based on the organization’s test of its mobile vaccination units. The playbook will be “an open-source resource for agencies and organizations across the country,” according to a statement from Starbucks.
An additional $150,000 from The Starbucks Foundation went to the Vaccine Equity Initiative in partnership with All in WA and The Seattle Foundation to help close the disparities in vaccine access across Washington state using community-based organizations.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced the country is expected to hit the goal of 200 million vaccinations within his first 100 days in office. To reach that goal, he said, employers and companies must offer paid time off to employees for vaccines and/or sick time as a result of side effects.
“No working person in this country should lose a single dollar from their paycheck to take time to get the shot or recover from it,” the White House said in a statement.
Starbucks currently offers two hours of PTO per shot (up to two times) and four hours of PTO for side effects (up to two times).
In January, Starbucks joined Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Challenge Seattle in a public-private partnership to help optimize accelerated, safe and equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines across Washington State.
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