Everywhere Teachers Can Get Free & Cheap Food for Teacher Appreciation Week

Teachers always deserve a little extra gratitude. Teacher Appreciation Week is your chance to offer it to them.

teacher appreciation deals 2021
Photo courtesy of Joella's Hot Chicken
Photo courtesy of Joella's Hot Chicken

No one will deny that it has been a tough year. Everyone deserves a pat on the back. 

But every spring we have a week dedicated to appreciating teachers and educators across the country. They deserve it every year, and they really deserve it this year. It's easy to say that teachers what they do for the kids or the love of the job, but it's also a job. It's stressful. They're underpaid. They're often shelling out their own money to improve the classroom experience for students. So, we have Teacher Appreciation Week. During this week, restaurants and businesses across the country offer freebies and discounts to teachers of all stripes, offering a little comestible thanks that won't solve any challenges teachers face, but it's a reminder that their communities care about them and appreciate the job they're doing. 

Here are all the deals teachers, school workers, and other educators can take advantage of throughout Teacher Appreciation Week.

Free Food for Teachers

Insomnia Cookies
The deal:
If you fall in a celebrated group during Teacher Appreciation Week, Nurse Appreciation Week, or Mother's Day, you can get a totally free cookie from Insomnia in-store. No purchase is required. Alternatively, you can get a free six-pack with any $5 purchase. That's also only available when you shop in-store. 
When: May 3-9

Sonic Drive-In
The deal:
Teachers can snag a free large drink or Slush with any purchase when they use the code "TEACHERS" while ordering online or through the Sonic app. 
When: Through May 9

Tijuana Flats
The deal:
Teachers and nurses get a free entrée with the code "TYVM2575."
When: May 7

The deal: For Teacher Appreciation Week, Lightlife is offering teachers a free product from its line of plant-based meat substitutes. Just go to the company's site to snag a coupon that will hook you up. 
When: May 3-10

Krispy Kreme
The deal:
If you got your COVID-19 vaccine, Krispy Kreme will give you a free donut every day for the rest of the year.
When: Through December 31

White Castle
The deal: If you can prove you're vaccinated against COVID-19, you can grab a free cake on a stick at White Castle. Yes, they do make those, and you can get them in Gooey Buttercake, Fudge Dipped Brownie, Fudge Dipped Cheesecake, and Birthday Cake. 
When: Through May 31

teacher appreciation day deals 2021
Photo courtesy of Lightlife

Food Deals for Teacher Appreciation Week

Buffalo Wild Wings
The deal:
Teachers and school staff can trim 20% off their order at participating sports bar locations all week. 
When: May 3-7

Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant
The deal:
All teachers and school staff get 20% off their entire check when showing their school ID. 
When: May 4

The deal:
Teachers and nurses get 15% off their order when they show an ID. 
When: May 3-7

Huddle House
The deal: Educators can stop in for a free meal and drink (up to $10) on Teacher Appreciation Day. Just flash your school ID. 
When: May 5

Curry Up Now
The deal:
Teacher Tuesdays are going to hook teachers and school staff up with a free bowl or burrito at participating locations. Just show your school ID when ordering in-person. 
When: Every Tuesday through May 25

Joella's Hot Chicken
The deal: Teachers and nurses can grab a free meal this week. You'll get set up with a meal that includes two Jumbo Tenders, a southern side, one Dippin' Sauce, and a drink. Just show an ID to prove you're a nurse or school staff. 
When: May 6

Greene Turtle
The deal:
If teachers place a pick-up order with the code "TEACHER2021," they can get 50% off that order at participating locations. 
When: May 4

teacher apprecaition week deals 2021
Photo courtesy of Verve Coffee

Other Food Deals Available Right Now

Moe's Southwest Grill
The deal:
The burrito chain's new "Kids Eat Free" program offers a free meal to kids 12 and under every Sunday. No purchase is required.
When: Ongoing

Crook & Marker
The deal:
Buy any eight-pack of Crook & Marker and you can grab a free eight-pack of its new canned Lime Margaritas. That's available anywhere the brand is sold. 
When: Through May 31

Krispy Kreme
The deal:
You buy a dozen glazed donuts, you'll get a second dozen for a dollar. 
When: Saturdays and Sunday through May 23

The deal:
Buy a Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger and you can get a second one for just a buck through the mobile app. 
When: Through May 23

The deal: Buy a Premium Hamburger and get another one for a buck inside the Wendy's app. 
When: Through May 23

The deal: Current and retired firefighters can swing by Smashburger to grab a totally free Scorchin' Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich. 
When: May 4

The deal:
Buy a $50 gift card for Mother's Day (or whatever occasion you happen to be celebrating), and you'll get a $20 bonus card. Though, you can't get it at any Grimaldi's Pizzeria To-Go location. 
When: Through May 3

The deal:
If you're new to order alcohol through Drizly, you can get $5 off your first order with the code "CINCO2021."
When: Through May 5

Carrabba's Italian Grill
The deal:
Spend $50 on gift cards and get a $10 bonus card that can be redeemed from May 17 to July 18. 
When: Through May 15

The deal:
Make any $15 purchase and you'll get a $10 bonus gift card to spend later. A representative tells Thrillist that this deal will automatically apply through the run of the deal.
When: May 2-9

Tocaya Organica
The deal: If you're ordering from the website or app you can get bottled beer for $2.95 (usually $5), a to-go margarita bottle for $17.95 (usually $24.95), or a Taco Bar order for $54.95 (usually $64.95). 
When: May 5

The deal: Take $5 off any cake purchase of at least $30. 
When: Through May 15

Verve Coffee
The deal: Order a gift subscription to Verve Coffee and you'll get a free Verve Kinto diner mug with the first delivery. 
When: Through May 9

Martha Stewart Wine Co. 
The deal: The code "4MOM30" will get you 30% off your entire wine order. Stock up!
When: Through May 9

Wine Insiders
The deal: Drop in the code "4MOM35" to get 35% off your wine restock order. 
When: Through May 9

Smokey Bones
The deal: Get a margarita and two BBQ street tacos for $10. 
When: May 5

Red Lobster
The deal: Drop $50 on a Red Lobster gift card and you'll get a bonus coupon for $10 off a in-restaurant, To Go, or delivery order that hits a $30 minimum. That coupon can be used anytime in July or August. 
When: Through June 30

Cracker Barrel
The deal: Purchase the All-Day Pancake Breakfast Family Meal Basket or Sunday Homestyle Chicken Family Meal Basket for Mother’s Day weekend to get a $10 bonus gift card that can be used anytime from May 8 to June 13.
When: May 7-9

Smoothie King
The deal: Get $0 delivery fees when you order through its website or mobile app. You'll also have to hit the $10 minimum. 
When: Through May 15

Romano's Macaroni Grill
The deal: The code "TREATMOM" will get you 25% off any e-gift card.
When: May 3-9

Metro Diner
The deal: Spend $50 on gift cards to Metro Diner, and you'll get a $10 bonus card that can be used through June 30. 
When: Through May 31

The deal: If you buy $25 in gift cards in-restaurant or online, you'll get a coupon for a free six-inch sub that can be redeemed from July 1 to August 30. 
When: Through June 30

The Cheesecake Factory
The deal: Buy a $50 gift card and you'll be set up with a $10 bonus card that, unlike the head of broccoli in the back of your fridge, does not expire. 
When: Through May 9

Grand Lux Cafe
The deal: Like the above deal from Cheesecake Factory, you can buy a $50 gift card and get a free $10 card in the process. 
When: Through May 9

Want More Food Deals?

Here's our huuuuuuuge running list of all the free food you can get right now, as well as the best pizza dealsreward programs, birthday freebiesgift card offersdeals on food for kids, food delivery offers, 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 Dustin Nelson on Twitter.