McDonald's (MCD -1.81%) is about to launch nearly two weeks of free food for people on the front lines in the battle against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The fast-food giant announced Tuesday that it will hand out "Thank You Meals" free of charge to healthcare workers, paramedics, firefighters and police officers, in an expression of gratitude for their efforts during the pandemic.
These meals can be picked up either via carry out or at the drive-thru of participating McDonald's, starting Wednesday, April 22. The program will last through Tuesday, May 5.
The Thank You Meals will be available throughout the day, in either breakfast or lunch/dinner configurations. The former offers a choice of an Egg McMuffin, Chicken McGriddle, or bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. Lunch/dinner is a choice between a double cheeseburger, six Chicken McNuggets or a Filet-O-Fish. Both meals include a drink and a side of either hash browns (breakfast) or small order of fries (lunch/dinner).
The meals will be served in the restaurant chain's iconic Happy Meal box.
"Emergency physicians and other healthcare workers on the frontlines are spending hours a day on their feet, often missing meals in their efforts to care for their patients," said Dr. William Jaquis, President of The American College of Emergency Physicians, in a statement on the company's website. "McDonald's Thank You Meal is a much appreciated gesture for those risking their lives each day to take a break with a hot meal amid the turbulence."
In late trading on Tuesday McDonald's shares were down by 2.2%, essentially moving along with the broader stock market and other big consumer goods titles.