The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented time in history and has been difficult for many, especially the health-care workers and first responders who have been on the front lines, facing the COVID-19 pandemic head-on. Their hard work and dedication during this time has saved many lives, and now, it’s our time to give back. To do our part, we created this guide for our health-care heroes to uncover the best deals and discounts for health-care workers and first responders. This guide also puts a focus on these heroes’ mental and physical health and includes a variety of resources to help relieve the stress that results from such demanding, heroic jobs.
Nationwide brands want to show their appreciation for the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to do so, they are offering a wide variety of health-care worker and first responder discounts. Below is a collection of the many deals and discounts being offered.
Food Discounts and Freebies for Health-Care Workers and First Responders
Coupons for heroes also include a variety of food discounts and freebies for health-care workers and first responders from restaurant chains across the country. Below is a list of great food and drink deals that they can claim as a thank-you for their hard work and dedication.
- Big Chicken is offering first responders and frontline workers 25% off their order when they present their industry ID.
- Bonefish Grill renamed its Military Discount to the “Heroes Discount” which now includes first responders tand takes 10% off the check.
- Fire Dept. Coffee offers a lifetime discount of 15% for first responders and emergency dispatchers.
- Hooters is offering 20% off to hospital workers and first responders. Just show your ID at pickup or choose the “Pay at Store” option for online orders.
- IHOP will take 25% off the check if you’re in a medical, law enforcement, or firefighter profession and have valid ID.
- KIND offers 15% off sitewide for first responders, nurses, and doctors with a valid ID.
- Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill offers a First Responders Heroes Appreciation Program that takes 15% off the bill with a valid ID.
- Outback Steakhouse’s Heroes Discount takes 10% off the entire check for all first responders, firefighters, and police officers.
- Pollo Loco is offering a 15% Service Discount for police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and federal law enforcement agents in uniform or with a valid ID.
- Texas de Brazil offers 20% off on lunch or dinner with their Heroes’ Discount for law enforcement, firefighters, nurses, and EMS workers with valid ID.
- Cumberland Farms is offering any sized hot or iced coffee free for health-care workers and first responders.
- Krispy Kreme will give a free original glazed doughnut to anyone who shows a vaccination card through the rest of 2021, which should apply to most health-care workers and first responders.
- Macaroni Grill’s offer is slightly different: Purchase the First Responder Meal online and the restaurant will deliver an order of “Mom's Ricotta Meatballs + Spaghetti” to those on the front line.
- Nando’s is offering free takeout to any nurse, doctor, or health-care worker who stops in with an ID or in uniform. They have donated more than 60,000 meals to health-care workers so far!
More Discounts for Health-Care Workers and First Responders
There are plenty more discounts available. Here’s a list of some we dug up, but you should always ask!
Car Rental Discounts
- Alamo has exclusive rental discounts to government employees. Verification required.
- Budget Truck Rental offers 20% off on local moves and 15% Off on one-way moves, any day of the week.
- Dollar Rent A Car has special discounts and exclusive offers for First Responders. Visit website for more details
- Hertz offers exclusive discounts for car rentals. Visit the website for more details.
- Sixt gives an extra 5% off on car rentals. Verification required.
- Amtrak offers special discounts for First Responders who are current government employees. Verification required. Restrictions apply.
Clothing, Outdoor & Sporting Goods Discounts
- Jockey offers an extra 10% discount to active or retired police, firefighters and EMTs. Verify via First Responder ID at checkout.
- Modell's Sporting Goods offers an extra 10% off. Verify online via Sheer ID.
- Moosejaw has a 20% off discount for all Military. Requires First Responder verification.
- NASCAR Store offers 10% off! To redeem the offer verify via First Responder ID at checkout.
- NHL Shop will offer first responders and other eligible groups an extra 15% off online orders. Look for a First Responder ID widget at checkout to verify your eligibility.
- NFL Shop offers an extra 15% discount for eligible groups. Verify your eligibility at checkout via First Responder ID.
- Reebok offers an extra 20% discount for first responders. Verify your eligibility online to get the offer.
- Quiksilver gives an extra 15% off online orders. Verify online via Sheer ID and receive a unique, one-time use coupon code that can be redeemed in the shopping cart.
- YETI offers various special deals and discounts on their website. First Responder ID verification required.
Mental Health Resources for Health-Care Workers and First Responders
Taking care of your mental health should always be a priority, but it is especially crucial for first responders and those working in health care during these stressful times. Take the necessary steps to protect your mental health just as you would protect your physical health. We put together a list of the mental health resources that offer health-care workers and first responders a safe space to reach out for help.
- The Emotional PPE Project can connect health-care workers whose mental health has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with a licensed mental health professional. All services through the project are free of charge.
- Responder REL8 is a platform that provides health-care workers and first responders a safe and anonymous space to connect with one another about their experiences, discuss challenges, and give advice.
- Safe Call Now offers a confidential 24-hour crisis referral service for all public safety employees as well as all emergency service personnel and their families.
- Talkspace is a great resource for telehealth and offers licensed therapy from home and virtual psychiatry services as well as plenty of mental health tips to help you cope during the COVID-19 crisis. They also offer financial assistance for health-care workers and first responders.
- BetterHelp offers COVID-19 support through licensed and vetted counselors and is currently offering health-care workers 50% off their first month of service.
- Crisis Text Line offers immediate support by text to anyone in crisis. To reach this free and confidential support line, text FRONTLINE to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor 24/7.
Resources for Managing Stress and Dealing With a Stressful Job
Stress is an inevitable part of life, especially for those in health care and first responders who are working such demanding and critical jobs. It’s important to manage the stress from work and not let it becoming overwhelming, which can be done through a variety of healthy outlets. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) conducted a poll to find out how people prefer to manage their stress:
- Talking to friends or family: 18%
- Sleeping: 17%
- Regular exercise: 14%
- Watching movies or TV: 14%
- Eating: 14%
- Listening to music: 13%
Free At-Home Workouts and Fitness Regimens
Exercise is one of the most recommended and healthiest ways that one can reduce stress in their life. The ADAA found that walking, running, and yoga were the most common forms of exercise used to reduce stress, but any form of exercise will help. Even just walking for 5 to 10 minutes a day will go a long way toward relieving your stress in a healthy way. Below is a list of free workout programs, videos, and apps that millions of people use to create their own fitness regimens.
- Orangetheory at Home offers free at-home workouts that are backed with “Orangetheory Science” and focus on strength training, HIIT, core strength, active recovery, and more.
- Nike Training Club is an app that includes a wide variety of home workouts and can be filtered based on whether you have access to gym equipment or not.
- Fitness Blender offers hundreds of workouts that can be filtered by calories burned or number of minutes for those with busy schedules. You can find their entire library of videos on the Fitness Blender YouTube channel as well.
- The Fitness Marshall is a YouTube channel perfect for those who hate working out, making exercise fun through dance workout videos and humor sprinkled throughout.
- PopSugar Fitness is a widely popular YouTube channel with a large library of videos, many of which are around 30 minutes long. They include dance, sculpting, yoga, kickboxing, strength training, and more.
- Blogilates is another popular fitness YouTube channel, this one focusing on POP Pilates, PIIT28, and boot-camp sculpting. The channel’s themed workouts and weekly challenges are great for keeping you motivated.
- Amazon Prime fitness videos are free for Amazon Prime members, who have access to a library of fitness videos that include full-body, weight loss, and 15-minute workouts. Search “fitness” in the search bar and check the Prime box to find the available workouts.
First responders have tough jobs mentally as well as physically. Start a fitness regimen that puts more focus on the movements, lifts, and endurance that are necessary in such a physically demanding job. This will help strengthen the body to perform its best during those critical moments. Below are some free workout programs that are first responder-focused to help you perform even better on the job.
- Fire Rescue Fitness is a 40-day at-home workout program that’s free for first responders and includes a variety of exercise and nutrition resources to get you “Fire Rescue Fit.” You can also find individual videos on the Fire Rescue Fitness YouTube channel.
- 555 Fitness is a nonprofit that was founded to reduce cardiac deaths in firefighters but has expanded to include all emergency service departments. It provides free daily workouts on its social media platforms and free app and even awards fitness equipment grants to departments each year.
- Breaking Muscle First Responder Workouts offers a 12-week program for individuals or groups to train together and includes workouts geared toward building the endurance and muscles first responders need to use most.
Free Resources for Other Stress-Reduction Strategies
There are other strategies that first responders and health-care workers can implement into their lives on a regular basis to help reduce stress as well. Practices like yoga and meditation have been shown to positively impact your physical and mental health, boost your mood, and even help you find inner peace. Something as simple as being more mindful or incorporating breathing exercises into your routine can go a long way toward keeping you mentally strong when stressful situations occur.
Free Yoga Resources
- Yoga With Adriene is the most popular yoga channel on YouTube, with nearly 10 million subscribers. Her playlists are broken down by length of time, including many “Yoga for Busy People” videos to choose from.
- Down Dog is a yoga app that will send you a “flow of the day” based on your preferences, such as length of time, type of yoga, and level of practice. With more than 30,000 configurations, you won’t get bored of these yoga routines.
- Fightmaster Yoga is another YouTube channel that offers a a wide variety of videos to meet specific goals, including multiple “Yoga for Stress” options.
Free Meditation and Mindfulness Resources
- Headspace is one of the most popular apps for guided meditations and mindfulness and also offers a variety of helpful resources on how to relieve stress and sleep better, with meditation and mindful practices to accompany each goal.
- Smiling Mind is a nonprofit app that offers hundreds of meditation and mindfulness practices with specific goals in mind, like stress management or better sleep.
- Let’s Meditate is a simple and straightforward app; one click is all it takes to get to meditating.
- Guided Meditations from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center are offered for free to play or download.
Free Breathing Resources
- The Breathing App (iOS/Android) teaches you how breathing exercises can have a positive effect on various parts of the body, such as blood pressure, heart rate, brain function, digestion, and more.
- Breath Ball (iOS/Android) is an app that provides breathing exercises for stress relief and can help you keep calm and restore peace of mind.
- Breathe2Relax (iOS/Android) is another popular app that focuses on using breathing techniques for stress management.
Free White Noise Stations
Getting sleep is another important part of staying healthy and keeping stress at bay. The American Psychological Association found that 21% of adults reported feeling more stressed when they got less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. But how do you get more sleep after a stressful day? Listening to white noise stations can help you sleep better. Bbelow are some popular options to listen to.
- White Noise Radio can be played on the Web or on Radio.net’s app and is simple to use; you just need to press the play button and let it put you to sleep.
- Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds (iOS/Android) offers users the ability to mix 100 sounds to creating a soothing playlist you’ll want to fall asleep to.
- Atmosphere: Relaxing Sounds (iOS/Android) has more than 100 different sounds to choose from, and even includes special noises to help reduce anxiety and relieve headaches.
- Rain Rain Sleep Sounds (iOS/Android) is perfect for anyone who enjoys falling asleep to the sound of rain, and it also includes a variety of other water noises, like a dishwasher or faucet.
Healthy and Easy Meal Options for First Responders
Exercise isn’t the only healthy addition you should make to your life. Eating healthy is also crucial for a healthier mindset. It can seem like a daunting task for health-care workers or first responders who have to work long hours to also be able to eat healthy, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a wide variety of meal subscription services and food delivery options that can make healthy meals easy and convenient.
Meal Subscription Services
If you enjoy cooking but don’t have the time to meal-plan or go grocery shopping, then a meal subscription service may be a great option for you! There are a wide variety of ones to choose from, some of which even cater to specific diets. Many of these meal subscription services offer a discount on your first box, making it affordable to try a few different ones to see which service you like best. A couple of them even offer steeper discounts for first responders and health-care workers!
- Home Chef is the most customizable, with a large variety of mix-and-match meal choices offered each week, from vegetarian to carb-conscious. They are even offering 50% off the first purchase for doctors, nurses, hospital employees, and first responders.
- Hello Fresh sends out a weekly box that includes fresh portioned ingredients and simple recipes, and they offer a variety of meal plans, like vegetarian, pescatarian, and family-friendly. For health-care workers, the company is also offering 50% off your first box plus 15% off all other boxes over the next year.
- Blue Apron offers quick and easy 20-minute well-balanced meals across four plan options: Signature, Signature for 4, Vegetarian, or Wellness. You can reduce food waste with their perfectly portioned ingredients.
- Green Chef uses USDA-certified organic ingredients for all of their meals, making this one of the healthiest meal subscription options. They have easy-to-follow meal plans tailored to suit every lifestyle, such as keto, paleo, or plant-powered.
- Sunbasket offers meal kits as well as “Fresh & Ready” meals for those who want to eat a healthy meal with minimal effort. You’ll find a wide variety of menu options, including paleo, gluten-free, Mediterranean, and diabetes-friendly.
- EveryPlate is the most budget-friendly meal service, with easy-to-cook dinner options for two or four and 14 recipes to choose from each week.
- Daily Harvest is perfect for those looking for breakfast, lunch, or smaller meal options that are built around fruits and vegetables. Choose from a variety of smoothies, harvest bowls, chia bowls, soups, and more, all of which come frozen to enjoy on your time.
- Veestro is a great choice for vegetarians and offers organic, 100% plant-based, fully prepared meals. They offer two meal plans, a la carte and weight loss, which can be prepared in just 5 minutes, making this a perfect option for a healthy vegetarian meal while you’re on the job.
- Purple Carrot is a vegan meal subscription service, and in addition to dinner meals, they also offer breakfast, lunch, and “Plantry” items, which include plant-based desserts.
- SnackNation offers a monthly box with healthy snack options from brands like Bare and Kind delivered to your home or office, making it a great snack option for your team. You can feel good about your order because for every box delivered, SnackNation will donate one meal to Feeding America!
- Naturebox is another healthy snack delivery service that offers customizable boxes with snacks that include vegan, keto-friendly, or low-fat options.
- Freshly offers freshly cooked meals that can be ready to eat in a matter of minutes, which is great for a quick bite when you’re on the go. With their flexible meal plans, you can choose from four, six, ten, or 12 meals a week, perfect for those busy weeks when there’s no time to cook.
- Hungryroot makes grocery shopping and meal-planning easy by using a quiz to create the perfect grocery plan for you, filling your cart, and delivering healthy groceries and recipes right to your door.
- Omaha Steaks is the best choice for those looking to eat more meat-filled meals. These protein-packed meals range from regular meal kits to easier options like one-step meals or slow-cooker dishes.
- Martha & Marley Spoon is serving up Martha Stewart's best recipes and cooking tips right to your door along with pre-portioned ingredients to make the meal even easier. They offer 29 recipes to choose from every week from five categories: “Health & Diet,” “Vegetarian & Vegan,” “Meat & Fish,” “Under 30 Minutes,” and “Family-Friendly.”
- Gobble is a great option for those with busy schedules, as all of the ingredients come fully prepped and ready to be cooked for healthy meals that can be made in just 15 minutes.
- Dinnerly is a budget-friendly option that offers simpler recipes with fewer ingredients to lower costs. They have a variety of meal options, like low-calorie, vegetarian, gluten-free, and even kid-friendly choices.
- Yumble is a weekly meal subscription box for kids containing healthy meals designed to be “picky-eater-pleasers” that all of your kids will want to dig into. Their flexible plans include four, six, eight, or 12 meals, making this a great option for busy families.
Food (and More) Delivery Services
Does it seem like the only delivery options in your area are pizza and Chinese? Don’t forget to check in with local restaurants that serve healthier entrees, as they may have partnered up with one of the nationwide delivery services listed below.
- GrubHub is one of the most popular food delivery services and has a wide variety of food options, from nationwide chains to local restaurants. You can search by location or type of cuisine, track your order, and even get discounts just for using the app.
- DoorDash is another popular food delivery service that works with a large variety of nationwide chains and local restaurants, and its recommendation engine is great for discovering a new place to eat. The app also includes a “Yum Score” that rates the food quality and how quickly the restaurant works to get the food out the door.
- UberEats is the food delivery service offered by Uber and operates in a similar way, through tracking the delivery and paying in their app with a credit card or credits on your Uber account. With Uber’s global reach, this option may even deliver food where others may not.
- Seamless is a food delivery service under GrubHub that also offers food from a wide variety of restaurants. It operates in many cities across the U.S. but offers the best coverage in New York City.
- Instacart is different in that it specializes in delivering groceries and other household goods. It partners with more than 20,000 retailers and was named one of the best grocery delivery services of 2021.
- Postmates is a 24/7 delivery service that will not only deliver food and groceries from local restaurants and supermarkets but also goods from retail stores.
- Delivery.com is another service that offers more than just food delivery. You can order groceries, beer, wine, and spirits and even schedule pick-ups and drop-offs for laundry. Another great feature is their group ordering option, which allows you to split an order with others.
- GoPuff focuses more on delivering convenience-store items like snacks, ice cream, cleaning supplies, and over-the-counter medicines.
Thank you, health-care workers, and thank you, first responders, for your hard work and dedication during this challenging time. We hope our guide to discounts, mental health resources, and ways to make healthy eating easier helps to bring some relief and reduce the amount of stress you feel from working such demanding jobs. You truly are our heroes! We also have lists of military discounts and discounts for teachers and educators.