Starbucks commits US$10M in COVID-19 relief for employees

Starbucks has announced a commitment of US$10 million to establish a Starbucks Global Partner Emergency Relief Program, part of its ongoing efforts to support employees around the world impacted by COVID-19.

The commitment marks the first time both company-operated and international licensed market store partners across Starbucks may access hardship grants. These one-time, direct relief grants will be made available to partners facing extreme hardship as a result of COVID-19 and help ensure that partners around the world have access to emergency support during this difficult time.

Support from the Starbucks Global Partner Emergency Relief Program will be made available to retail partners in licensed store markets through the Emergency Assistance Foundation, to partners in company-operated markets through the established Caring Unites Partners (CUP) Fund, and to partners in Europe through the Starbucks EMEA Partner Relief Fund.

“As we navigate this global crisis, we never lose sight of the wellbeing of our partners, who are the heartbeat of this company,” says Lucy Helm, Chief Partner Officer of Starbucks.

“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.”

In 1998, the CUP Fund was started in the United States by employees, for employees facing unexpected financial hardship. Since then, the CUP Fund has supported more than 28,000 individuals. To date, the program has been extended to Starbucks company-operated markets in Canada, China, and Japan.

Starbucks says the US$10 million commitment to the Global Partner Emergency Relief Program will support the existing CUP Fund and new Starbucks EMEA Partner Relief Fund, and create a pathway for international licensed markets to set up their own funds.

As each community faces unique response and recovery challenges, the new funds will be processed through the Emergency Assistance Foundation and enable licensed store operators in international markets to join Starbucks in providing support for partners in disaster designated areas, who are immediately eligible to apply for assistance.

Qualified categories for fund 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.

“Our goal at the Emergency Assistance Foundation (EAF) is to help individuals financially during times of disaster and hardship,” says Doug Stockham, President of the EAF.

“People around the globe are affected by COVID-19, and we pride ourselves on being the financial first responders. We are pleased to partner with Starbucks and look forward to making an impact together.”

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