McDonald's offering free ‘thank you’ breakfast to educators Oct. 11-15

Educators across the country will have access to a free breakfast this week.

Just as it did with first responders and health care workers last year, McDonald’s announced it will offer a free Thank You Meal to teachers, administrators and school staff between Oct. 11 and Oct. 15. They will just have to present a valid employee ID to cash in on the freebie.

"Together with our Owner/Operators, we're proud to serve the people who make our communities a better place, and this is an important time to say thank you to some of our everyday heroes," said Joe Erlinger, President, McDonald’s USA. "We were honored to give away 12 million free Thank You Meals to first responders and healthcare workers last year and now, with educators going above and beyond, we're excited to recognize them in a way only McDonald's can."

Teachers have dealt with unprecedented stress throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As virtual learning replaced in-person classes, they had to rebuild lesson plans on the fly. And even when classes met in person, they became enforcers of mask mandates — an often divisive issue.

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That’s why McDonald’s wanted to make sure their mornings could be a little brighter this week.

"As a former teacher, this Thank You Meal means the world to me, and I know it will touch my customers and my employees," said Stefanie Cabrera Bentancourt, McDonald’s Owner/Operator based in Miami, Florida. "Educators are the backbone of our communities. They’ve done so much for us, and it’s an honor to join my fellow Owner/Operators across the country to celebrate them."

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A sign stands outside of a McDonald's restaurant Feb. 9, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Thank You Meal includes an entrée breakfast sandwich, hash browns and a beverage, and it will be presented in a classic Happy Meal box. Available sandwiches include the egg McMuffin, a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, and a sausage biscuit.For beverages, customers can choose a medium hot or iced coffee or a medium soft drink.

McDonald’s has encouraged people to use the hashtag #ThankYouMeal to tell the world about a special educator in your life — whether it be your teacher or your child’s.

Those who’d like a more personal touch are invited to send them an e-card.

This story was reported from Atlanta.