The company feels that the time isn't right.
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Citing “uncertainties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic,” convenience store chain 7-Eleven will be taking the year off from its annual birthday celebration.

According to a press release, July 11, 2020 will not be marked by massive lines for free Slurpees, as is tradition. Given a global pandemic that seems to only be getting worse in places that have decided to reopen, the company feels the time just isn’t right.

“At 7-Eleven, our top priority is the safety of customers, Franchisees and employees. Gathering nine million of our closest friends in stores on one day just didn’t feel right,” SVP and CMO Marissa Jarratt said in the release.

The midsummer corporate holiday won’t go by without a special giveaway, however. To commemorate the chain’s birthday, they’ll be donating one million meals ($100,000) to support food banks through Feeding America. Given this year’s massive spike in unemployment, helping fight food insecurity is arguably more important than ever.

If for some reason the prospect of a free Slurpee was the only thing keeping you going amidst the pandemic, don’t freak out. Instead of having everyone queue up and violate social distancing to get a free beverage, 7Rewards loyalty mobile app users will instantly have a coupon for a free medium Slurpee added to their accounts on July 1. Said coupon will be valid all month long, so think of it as a “free Slurpee on whatever July day works for you” celebration. On top of that, 7Rewards members can get a $1 Big Bite Hot Dog from July 1 through 12, so there’s also that.

So while it was probably inevitable that 7-Eleven Day would look a little bit different this year, it doesn’t have to suck. Maybe use that newfound free time you would’ve spent lining up on July 11 to make a donation to a food bank or do a good deed for someone else.