Veterans Day: Starbucks to raise money for military mental health resources

Any military veteran, spouse or active-duty service member will receive a free tall-sized coffee from Starbucks on Veterans Day.

Starbucks will build on its efforts to support the military community on Veterans Day by donating some of its proceeds to two organizations working to address mental health challenges.

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The coffeehouse chain will donate 25 cents from every coffee sold on the holiday, split between Team Red, White and Blue and Team Rubicon. In addition, any military veteran, spouse or active-duty service member will receive a free tall-sized coffee on Veterans Day.

Proceeds from Starbucks’ drive will benefit Team Rubicon’s efforts to help military veterans use the skills they learned during active service to aid response efforts to natural disasters and other crises, as well as Team Red, White and Blue’s “Ending Isolation” campaign, which aims to eliminate stigmas associated with mental health obstacles among veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

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“Breaking down the societal stigma around mental health begins with listening to the needs of veterans and military families,” Matt Kress, a 22-year Marine Corps veteran and Starbucks’ senior manager of veteran and military affairs, said in a statement. “At Starbucks, we launched our Mental Health Matters initiative with input from our partners [employees], including veteran and military spouses. As part of this effort, we are proud to support organizations like Team Red, White, and Blue and Team Rubicon for the critical work they do in promoting mental health and well-being of veterans.”

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Starbucks has worked closely with military veterans as part of its expansion efforts in the U.S. market. The company recently surpassed 25,000 hires of military veterans and spouses, surpassing its goal six years ahead of schedule.

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The company operates 62 “military family stores” near active duty bases and plans to open 71 more by 2022. Through the “Starbucks Foundation,” the company awarded more than $750,000 in grants in veterans organizations in 2019.

The Veterans Day fundraising drive is occurring weeks after Starbucks unveiled an updated slate of mental health resources for its workforce. With U.S. unemployment near record lows, the resources are part of a suite of benefits Starbucks rolled out to attract fresh talent and maintain its current base of employees.

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The benefits for Starbucks employees include a subscription to the mental health app “Headspace” and training for managers on “emotional first aid” in the workplace.

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