April 23, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
McDonald’s restaurants are offering free meals to healthcare workers and first responders as a token of appreciation for their efforts during COVID-19.
The fast-food chain is dishing out one free meal per day to medical staff, police officers and firefighters at its stores in Queens and across the country up until May 5. The company began rolling out the new offer Wednesday.
The “Thank You Meals” will be available during breakfast, lunch or dinner–and will feature a sandwich, drink, and a side dish, the company said in a statement Monday.
Meals will be served in a McDonald’s Happy Meal box, and a note of appreciation will replace the regular kid’s toy.
The company said it hoped the move would bring a smile to the faces of frontline workers who are selflessly putting their lives in harm’s way through the pandemic
“As local business owners, we know that our communities need us now more than ever, and we’re committed to continuing to serve them,” Katie Hunt-Rotolo, a local franchise owner/operator and president of the McDonald’s New York Metro Owner/Operator Association said.
The company said that each meal will be available at no charge via drive-thru or carry out at participating McDonald’s restaurants. Workers only need to show a badge or be in uniform to redeem a free meal.
Healthcare workers and first responders can choose from an Egg McMuffin, Chicken McGriddles or a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit for breakfast.
All options come with a soft drink of any size, tea or hot coffee and a hash brown.
A Double Cheeseburger, six-piece Chicken McNuggets or a Filet-O-Fish will be available on the lunch and dinner menus, and all options come with a soft drink of any size, tea or hot coffee and a small fries.
Dr. William Jaquis, President of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said that the free hot meals are a welcome break for frontline workers who are risking their lives each day.
“Emergency physicians and other health care workers on the frontlines are spending hours a day on their feet, often missing meals in their efforts to care for their patients,” Jaquis said.
McDonald’s said that nearly all of its restaurants have remained open during the COVID-19 shutdown and the company has implemented almost 50 new safety measures to ensure the safety of all its employees.