The convenience store chain will donate to those in need instead of giving out free Slurpees for its birthday this year. 

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed another beloved summer tradition for 2020. Dallas-based convenience store chain 7-Eleven announced today that they will not be holding their annual Free Slurpee Day, held annually on July 11 (otherwise known as 7-11). 

America's largest convenience store chain made the announcement in a press release earlier today, citing uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The company, which holds the annual celebration of its birthday by handing out free frozen drinks on July 11, will instead donate one million birthday meals to Feeding America. Traditionally, July 11 is the busiest day of the year for the company, and this year’s special circumstances called for a different approach.

“At 7‑Eleven, our top priority is the safety of customers, Franchisees, and employees,” said 7‑Eleven Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Marissa Jarratt. “Gathering nine million of our closest friends in stores on one day just didn’t feel right, but I am heartened that we now have the opportunity to help the communities and neighborhoods that have been the lifeline of our business since 1927.”

This is not all bad news, though. Those looking for a free Slurpee can still get one as long as they are members of the free 7Rewards loyalty program. Those lucky folks will receive a coupon for a free Slurpee to use once during the month of July. And, of course, the delicious frozen concoctions are always for sale in 7-Eleven stores. The company has taken social distancing precautions inside its stores, including marking floors, providing gloves and sanitization stations, and implementing enhanced cleaning, hygiene, and food handling procedures.

Though it is a bummer that there will not be a Free Slurpee Day this year, we can understand why 7-Eleven made this move—and donating a million meals is a wonderful way to spread the love.  

“The Feeding America network of food banks has been on the ground addressing the increased need in their communities,” said Lauren Biedron, vice president of corporate partnerships at Feeding America. “We are thankful for 7‑Eleven’s generous donation during this challenging time for many of our neighbors in need.”

What is your favorite flavor of Slurpee? Tell us in the comments!