McDonald’s continues extending the Golden Arches in local communities

April 27, 2020

Our restaurants have always been a place for people to come together and share everyday feel-good moments with family, friends and neighbors. We’re proud to continue caring for our communities, bringing them together over delicious meals – even if “together” looks a little different right now.   

McDonald’s restaurants across the country are feeding our frontline heroes with free Thank You Meals as a token of appreciation for their selfless service.

First responder with Thank You Meal

We are humbled to provide local healthcare workers and first responders heroes with a free, delicious and convenient meal through our Thank You Meals program. Thank You Meals, served our iconic Happy Meal box, are available day or night until Tuesday, May 5. Our McOpCo restaurant in Downey, Calif. received this note of appreciation from healthcare workers after a general manager went above and beyond to make a special delivery of Thank You Meals to the staff at a local hospital.

Thank you note from healthcare workers

In addition to this nationwide effort to fuel our healthcare heroes, our Owner/Operators have jumped in to ensure vulnerable members of their communities are cared for.

Merrith with McDonald's gift basket

Prior to COVID-19, Merrith, the former Mayor of Downey, Calif., would regularly visit his local Los Angeles McDonald’s restaurant for breakfast. When Merrith was directed by doctors to shelter-in-place due to a health condition, the restaurant’s General Manager, Yury, wanted to make sure he was taken care of. Yury worked with one of Merrith’s friends to deliver a gift basket of his favorite menu item: Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. The former Mayor was appreciative that his local McDonald’s remembered him and were thoughtful enough to make the special delivery.

At-risk seniors with their donated Happy Meals in Kill Devil Hills, NC

At-risk individuals in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes are also unable to go out for special meals or have regular visitors. Owner/Operator Bill Taylor and his team in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., understood the impact those regulations are having on the seniors in their community and wanted to do something to make them smile. Since nothing brightens up a day quite like a Happy Meal, they donated meals in the iconic red box to a local nursing home. This act of kindness brought joy to those who received the meals, as well as their loved ones who can’t visit and bring special meals themselves at this time.

Meals on Wheels with items donated by McDonald's in Ashville, NC

Meals on Wheels is an extraordinary and necessary service for so many individuals who are homebound. To support this cause, a group of Ashville, N.C., Owner/Operators, including Josh and Cassandra White, Christine Nevant, and Jim E. Davis, came together to donate breakfast items to a local Meals on Wheels project. In one week, the team donated enough oatmeal and raisins to support nearly 400 homes in the community. They plan to continue making donations to further support the families and individuals the organization serves.

Owner/Operators ensure community organizations in their backyards have access to hot meals.

Looking for a way to support the multitude of great organizations in their area, Indiana Owner/Operators Nick and Jami Kasprzyk donated 15,000 gift cards for free menu items to 26 community groups including schools, healthcare facilities and other essential workers throughout the Wabash Valley area.

“In these uncertain times, we can have confidence in the fact that our schools, healthcare workers, and first responders will always be here to take care of our communities,” said Owner/Operator Jami Kasprzyk. “We want to let them know that McDonald’s is here for them, too, and we hope these gifts spark a bit of joy during this stressful time.”

Darmody family donations with the Salvation Army of Omaha

In Omaha, Neb., the Darmody Family franchise organization has been donating food since the beginning of the crisis and now have 16 total restaurants participating in their program. The Darmodys have donated more than 2,350 pounds of food in March and April to local organizations including the Salvation Army of Omaha, MICAH House, Carole's House of Hope and Siena Francis House to make sure they have the resources they need to continue taking care of their neighbors.

Keith Vanecek and his General Manager Antonio Villareal with donations

Like many local non-profits, local homeless shelters have struggled to secure food and other supplies they need to care for underprivileged community members. When Arlington, Texas Owner/Operator Keith Vanecek and his General Manager Antonio Villareal learned their local shelter was in need, they worked quickly with their team to make a donation that fed over 50 people.

While dining rooms are closed, our customers continue to find socially distant ways to connect with one another while enjoying their McDonald’s favorites.

Coffee Club gathering in Dallas, TX

The O’Reilly Group’s restaurant in Dallas has a group of regular morning customers the staff affectionately refers to as the “coffee clutch club.” These friends have been coming together over McCafé coffee every Tuesday and Friday morning for years. Although they aren’t able to enjoy their beverages together in lobby as usual, this group is still visiting their local McDonald’s twice a week, grabbing their coffee to-go and enjoying a chat while social distancing in the parking lot.

“It warms our heart that despite the current conditions our McDonald’s restaurant can still be their home away from home even if it has to be done a little differently than normal,” said Owner/Operator Tara O’Reilly. “We are still able to serve our community and bring people together in the face of adversity.”

As we continue to navigate this “new normal,” we’re grateful for the way our #McFamily is providing comfort and support to the thousands of communities their restaurants call home.

About McDonald’s Corp. U.S. COVID-19 Relief Efforts

McDonald’s approach to challenging situations is guided by our belief that we are all in this together, and our system has come together in extraordinary ways to help each other, our customers and the communities we serve. In the U.S. we remain committed to leading by example as an organization, which is why we’ve donated $3.1 million in food to support local communities, made commitments to support truck drivers across the country, donated 1 million masks to Chicago and the state of Illinois and donated $1 Million to the Illinois COVID-19

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