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Everywhere You Can Get Free Food Right Now for National Nurses Week

There are many, many delicious ways to say thank you to healthcare workers.

food deals nurse appreciation week
Courtesy of Pollo Campero

It almost seems absurd that we have a National Nurses Week -- often referred to as Nurse Appreciation Week -- in 2020. Every single day should be Nurse Appreciation Day. Sure, lots of restaurants already adhere to that policy with deals and free food for nurses and healthcare workers year-round. But we're celebrating the official National Nurses Week nonetheless, because it certainly can't hurt to have a reminder right now. 

Throughout the weeklong celebration of our vital healthcare workers, which starts with National Nurses Day on Wednesday, May 6, restaurants throughout the United States are offering free meals, coffees, and deep discounts to the nurses and healthcare workers who are busting their asses daily during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find deals from places like Corner Bakery, Grimaldi's, Cumberland Farms, Steak 'N Shake, and tons of other chains that are doing their very small part to say thanks.

Here's our running list of the best food deals available during Nurse Appreciation Week. By the way, Nurses Week happens to overlap a bit with Teacher Appreciation Week, which comes with its own long list of deals and freebies for educators.

Free Food for National Nurses Week

Cumberland Farms
The deal:
The convenience chain is offering free coffee to people helping battle the COVID-19 outbreak. People who can grab a free coffee any day of the week include "healthcare workers, first responders, and military personnel including police officers, firefighters, active military, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital and medical staff, and medical researchers."
When: Ongoing

Chicken Salad Chick
The deal:
Grab BOGO entrées with the code "NURSE2020."
When: May 14

Nando's PERi-PERi
The deal:
Any "nurse, doctor, or healthcare worker" who stops into a Nando's with an ID or wearing a uniform gets free takeout. 
When: Ongoing

Delta Sonic
The deal: Each Delta Sonic location with a brick oven will offer a free meal to "all doctors, nurses, EMTs, firefighters, and police officers with a valid ID."
When: Ongoing

Steak 'N Shake
The deal: Everyone can get a free order of fries in the "We Are All Essential" program. There's no purchase necessary at all. 
When: Ongoing

Tropical Smoothie Café
The deal:
Medical professionals and first responders can contact their local Tropical Smoothie shop to have free smoothies delivered to your team. 
When: Ongoing

Pollo Campero
The deal
: First responders and medical personnel can stop in for a totally free meal every day all month. Show up in uniform or flash your badge/ID to take advantage of the generous offer. 
When: Ongoing

Insomnia Cookies
The deal:
If you send out for a 12-pack of traditional cookies online, you'll get a code that gives you a free six-pack of cookies to ship to anyone in the country who could use a little sweetness. Drop in the code "COOKIEMAGIC." (Also, you can totally be the person you send those cookies to if you happen to be the person who'd benefit from some free cookies.)
When: Wednesdays through May 31

El Pollo Loco
The deal:
For National Nurses Week, the Mexican chain is going to randomly choose a nurse nominated by people on social media to hook up with meals for an entire week. 
When: Through May 12

Dunkin'
The deal:
DD Perks members can get a free donut on Fridays when they buy a drink. 
When: Every Friday in May

Subway
The deal:
 Belly up with the aid of sandwich artists. Subway is offering BOGO foot-long subs.
When: Ongoing

Verb Energy
The deal
: For the #VerbLove campaign, the energy bar company is offering healthcare workers free bars. Just text 415-915-8372 to have a free order shipped to you. 
When: Ongoing

Food Deals for National Nurses Week

Red Lobster
The deal:
Nurses and healthcare providers can get 10% off their order when they show an employee ID or badge. 
When: Through May 17

Panda Express
The deal:
Hospital staff members and first responders will get 10% off any order made in-store at participating locations. 
When: May 11 - December 31

Mrs. Fields
The deal: Trim 25% off the price of the Heroes Collection, which can be a tin filled with 30, 48, or 90 cookies. Use the code "NURSES."
When: Through May 31

Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill
The deal:
 Naf Naf is offering first responders and active or retired military personnel a 15% discount on their order. You have to flash a valid ID and order in-store. (No catering orders.)
When: Ongoing

Taco Cabana
The deal:
If you work in a restaurant, hotel, grocery store, big-box store, drugstore, or food service industry location you can get 50% off your order when you purchase while wearing a uniform or showing an ID. The discount does not apply to alcohol.
When: Ongoing

food deals for nurses
Courtesy of The Halal Guys

Other Food Deals Available During National Nurses Week

Olive Garden
The deal:
The home of unlimited breadsticks is crafting a Mother's Day Family-Style Take & Bake Bundle. For $40, you get a pan of ready-to-bake Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells, a jumbo house salad with a bottle of Italian dressing, and a dozen ready-to-bake breadsticks with dipping sauce. 
When: Starting May 2

Panera
The deal:
You're getting 20% off a gift card or e-gift card through Mother's Day. You can even add a voice message for your e-gift card delivery.
When: Through May 10

Jimmy John's
The deal:
Place an order of at least $20 and you'll get $5 off with the code "5off20." Just be sure to place the order through the JJ site or mobile app. 
When: Through May 17

The Cheesecake Factory
The deal:
The chain has launched a new Happy Hour menu available for curbside pickup and to-go orders. You can pick from 10 full-sized menu items that will cost just $7.50. You'll also find bottles of wine for $15 and mix-and-match six-packs of beer for $12.95. You just have to order through the Cheesecake Factory website. 
When: May 4-8 and 11-15, 2-4:30pm

Qdoba
The deal:
Get a burrito, side of tortilla chips, salsa, and dessert for $9.95. 
When: Ongoing

7-Eleven
The deal:
Grab one of 7-Eleven's new Take and Bake pizzas for $5 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
When: Through May 17

Einstein Bros. Bagels
The deal:
The new Hot & Ready Brunch Box lands you six bagels, a tub of shmear, three egg sandwiches, four blueberry muffins, and four twice-baked hash browns for $29.99. 
When: Ongoing

Panda Express
The deal:
The Chinese food chain you most associate with malls is bringing back the $20 Family Meal Deal. Get two large sides and three large entrées for $20 when you order through the Panda Express app or website. 
When: Ongoing

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
The deal:
Place an order of $9.95 or more to get a free Pizzokie -- that's a portmanteau of pizza and cookie -- when you use the code "PIZOOKIE."
When: Ongoing

Pollo Campero
The deal:
Use the code "SHAREFLAVOR" to get $5 off an order of at least $25. You'll also get free delivery. 
When: May 8-10

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
The deal:
Get half-off a large pizza with the code "HALFOFF" or get a $6 take-home entrée with a $9.95 purchase. There's a limit of three of the cheap meals per order.
When: A limited time

Red Lobster
The deal:
Order directly through RedLobster.com and you can get free touchless delivery at participating locations. 
When: Ongoing

The Cheesecake Factory
The deal:
For Mother's Day, if you buy a $50 gift card, you'll get a free $10 gift card as a little bonus.
When: Through May 10

Wienerschnitzel
The deal:
Get a free World of Wieners hot dog with any purchase. 
When: Through May 17

Insomnia Cookies
The deal:
Take 20% off any cookie cake when you drop in the code "LOVE4MOM."
When: Through May 10

Smokey Bones
The deal:
Get a free kids meal with the purchase of any entrée. 
When: A limited time

Cracker Barrel
The deal:
Get free delivery on all Mother's Day Family Meal Baskets To-Go (All Day Pancake Breakfast or Sunday Homestyle Chicken). Also, for each basket you order, you'll land a free $10 gift card that can be redeemed through June 14.
When: Order through May 10 for delivery May 9-10

Insomnia Cookies
The deal:
If you send out for a 12-pack of traditional cookies online, you'll get a code that gives you a free six-pack of cookies to ship to anyone in the country who could use a little sweetness. Drop in the code "COOKIEMAGIC." (Also, you can totally be the person you send those cookies to if you happen to be the person who'd benefit from some free cookies.)
When: Through May 31

Taco Cabana
The deal:
If you work in a restaurant, hotel, food service industry, grocery store, big-box store, or drugstore, you can get 50% off your order when you purchase while wearing a uniform or show an ID. 
When: Ongoing

Olive Garden
The deal:
The pasta chain is now offering alcohol delivery with $15 bottles of wine, $10 six-packs, and $3 White Claws. 
When: Ongoing

The Capital Grille
The deal:
Get free delivery on wine and champagne.
When: Ongoing

El Fenix
The deal:
Get a kit to make margaritas frozen or on the rocks for $7. 
When: Through May 10

El Fenix
The deal:
The restaurant has a few food package deals, including enchiladas for four (eight total) for $25.99. It's just in time for Cinco de Mayo.
When: Through May 10

The Halal Guys
The deal:
Place an order for $15 or more through Postmates and you'll get free delivery. 
When: Through May 31

The Halal Guys
The deal:
Place an order through Grubhub and you'll get $10 off an order of at least $30. 
When: Through May 31

Kung-Fu Tea
The deal:
Order ahead or place an order through Grubhub or Uber Eats to upgrade your tea to include bubbles for free. 
When: Through May 30

Regatta Craft Mixers
The deal:
Get free shipping and feel good about it. Regatta will donate 15% of all online orders to the USBG Bartender Emergency Relief Program. 
When: Ongoing

Baskin-Robbins
The deal:
When you order through DoorDash you can get $0 delivery fees on any order of at least $15 with the code "BASKIN."
When: Ongoing

Want More Free Food?

Here's our huuuuuuuge running list of all the free food you can get right now, as well as the best reward programs, birthday freebiesgift card offersdeals on food for kids, food delivery, and alcohol delivery deals you'll find. If you want a little more than, say a free taco, we also have you covered with a long list of meals you can get at fast food chains under $5. You're welcome.

Additionally, we've put together a list of places offering free food to healthcare workers and first responders during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.