Starbucks commits $10M USD in COVID-19 relief for partners around the world


First-of-its-kind Starbucks Global Partner Emergency Relief Program to support partners in company-operated and licensed retail store markets around the world

In partnership with the Emergency Assistance Foundation, grants are available to international licensed store partners facing extreme hardship as a result of COVID-19

Starbucks establishes Starbucks EMEA Partner Relief Fund for partners in European company- operated markets

SEATTLE – Today, Starbucks announced a commitment of $10 million (USD) to establish the Starbucks Global Partner Emergency Relief Program, part of its ongoing efforts to support partners (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.

In every community Starbucks serves, partners are the foundation of the company’s fundamental Mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit. 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, a new fund established for European company-operated markets including the U.K., Austria, Switzerland, as well as the company’s Roastery in Italy and roasting plant in the Netherlands.

“As we navigate this global crisis, we never lose sight of the wellbeing of our partners, who are the heartbeat of this company,” said Lucy Helm, chief partner officer, Starbucks Coffee Company. “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.”

Starbucks has a long history of supporting partners. In 1998, the CUP Fund was started in the U.S. by partners, for partners 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 $10 million commitment to the Global Partner Emergency Relief Program will support the existing CUP Fund as well as the new Starbucks EMEA Partner Relief Fund and create a pathway for international licensed markets to set up their own funds with Starbucks contributing an initial investment, a first for the company.

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,” said Doug Stockham, President, 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.” 

To learn more about how Starbucks is managing through COVID-19 please visit Starbucks.com/covid-19.

To learn about the countless ways that Starbucks partners are uplifting their communities in times of need, visit The Good Things Are Happening blog.


About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 31,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at Stories.Starbucks.com and www.Starbucks.com.

About Emergency Assistance Foundation

The Emergency Assistance Foundation (EAF) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, public, non-profit organization designed to administer inclusive employee disaster relief and hardship funds. Employee Relief Funds are the fastest way to get financial assistance to employees impacted by COVID-19. EAF’s low-cost model and strategically curated systems allow employers to quickly provide financial assistance to domestic and international employees during times of crisis while remaining compliant with GDPR and IRS regulations. In times of Presidentially Declared Disasters, EAF’s unique Immediate Response Program awards grants to employees in need within a few days of verification. Employee Relief Funds also offer the opportunity for employees to make tax-deductible donations to assist their coworkers in need.