Starbucks makes $10 million commitment to new employee relief initiative

Marianne Wilson

Starbucks Corp. is expanding its efforts to help its employees around the world affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

The coffee giant has committed $10 million to establish the Starbucks Global Partner Emergency Relief Program, which will offer one-time direct grants to employees facing “extreme hardship” resulting from the pandemic. Eligible categories for the grants include, but are not limited to, housing and utilities, sudden loss of home, death of a family member or partner and related funeral expenses.  

The new relief program marks the first time both company-operated and international licensed market store partners across Starbucks may access hardship grants, the company said.

“During this very difficult time, we believe it is our responsibility to create additional support for partners facing unexpected financial hardship wherever they are,” said Lucy Helm, chief partner officer, Starbucks Coffee Company. “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.”

Support from the new program will be made available to employees in licensed store markets through the Emergency Assistance Foundation, to employees in company-operated markets through the established Caring Unites Partners (CUP) Fund, and to employees in Europe through the Starbucks EMEA Partner Relief Fund, a new fund established for European company-operated markets including the U.K., Austria, Switzerland, as well as the company’s Roastery in Italy and roasting plant in the Netherlands.

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