America may run on Dunkin, but it's on Starbucks that America responds.

Starbucks, the largest coffee retailer in the world, has been making equally massive moves in response to the pandemic in the past weeks.

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Starbucks President Rossann Williams released a statement on March 20th announcing their shift to drive-thru only services for all stores across the country.

"Let’s be real. Lattes aren’t “essential.” But in times of crisis, the government asks convenient food and beverage outlets to remain open when possible for pickup, Drive-Thru, or delivery."

Williams also announced that which would give her employees a much-needed financial relief: the company's decision to pay them for the next thirty days whether they go to work or not.

But employees across the country went to work anyway, and Starbucks C.E.O. Kevin Johnson recognized their resilience in his March 22nd statement: "Our stores that could open, did. Our partners showed up. They showed up for their communities."

But selflessly reducing the financial stress from its partners while doing its part to stop the spread of Covid-19 isn't all Starbucks can do, their executives thought.

Today, Starbucks updated its community of employees and customers that from now through May 3rd they will be offering their tall brewed coffees, hot or iced, to anyone who identifies as a frontline responder to the pandemic. This includes nurses, doctors, police, firefighters, hospital workers, paramedics, and medical staff and researchers.

The coffee giant's foundation is also donating $250,000 to Direct Relief, an organization that's working to deliver essential medical supplies such as personal protective equipment to health care workers. They are also donating to Operation Gratitude, an organization that's making up to 50,000 care packages to first responders and health care professionals.

It's no surprise the front page of their foundation clearly outlines its mission: "The Starbucks Foundation was created as part of our commitment to strengthen communities.

The Darinor Plaza Starbucks in Norwalk is a perfect example of how this commitment to service doesn't change during these difficult times. "A lot of our customers are usuals and they're happy [us employees] are staying safe. Corporate is doing a very good job of making everyone is staying safe," says the chain's manager.

From the executives' statements to the resilient coffee stains on the baristas' green aprons, Starbucks exhibits a common trend from the top down: a commitment to its community.

Thank You, Starbucks, for the caffeinated sanity you will continue to provide all of us, especially frontline responders, in the midst of this hysteria.

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