Chick-fil-A launches multimillion coronavirus relief effort

The chain joins Jersey Mike’s, Starbucks and a number of other restaurants pitching in

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Chick-fil-A, which earlier this month announced the rollout of handwashing stations for drive-thru employees, is now announcing a new measure to fight coronavirus pandemic economic fallout.

Chick-fil-A said the donations should have an immediate impact in communities, and support things like food donations or items to essential workers and to team members, the company said in a statement.

“Striving to be a supportive, caring and generous neighbor is in our DNA,” Chick-fil-A chairman and chief executive officer Dan Cathy, said. “Our restaurant Operators give back locally in so many ways, and this time is no exception. I’m humbled by the incredible care our restaurant teams have shown — from offering free meals to health care workers to feeding school children in need to writing notes of encouragement for guests.”

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The fast-casual restaurant's relief effort, anchored by a $10.8 million fund, would be dedicated to supporting local franchisees The funds will be distributed through a network of more than 1,800 independent owner-operators and be made available through June 2020.

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In addition to donating to essential workers and employees, the chain is also helping feed others. More than 5,000 meals have been donated to school systems, health care workers and others on the front lines in Atlanta, Georgia, where the company is based.

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Other big restaurant chains have been committed to helping their communities, too.

Through May 3, Starbucks will offer free coffee for first responders and health care workers. Sandwich shop Jersey Mike's Subs has committed to donating millions of subs as part of the company's Million Sub Sandwich initiative. And some chains, like Subway, will sell groceries including bread, meat, cheese and vegetables, as well as chips and cookies.

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