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Pandemic leads 7-Eleven to forgo free Slurpees on 7-11

There will be no free Slurpees at 7-Elevens on Saturday — July 11 — as the summer promotion was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken away another summertime tradition in the U.S.: There will be no free Slurpees at 7-Elevens on Saturday — July 11 — to hail a date that doubles as an abbreviation of the convenience store chain’s name.

7-Eleven has been giving away its slushy beverage to all customers for nearly 20 years on July 11, but it scrapped the promotion this summer to reduce the risk of people flocking to its stores and risking contracting the coronavirus.The decision comes as the economy continues to struggle with efforts to reopen hampered by soaring cases across the country.

The U.S. saw another record day for new cases Friday, surpassing 70,000 for the first time according to an NBC News tally.

“Gathering nine million of our closest friends in stores on one day just didn’t feel right,” said Marissa Jarratt, 7-Eleven’s chief marketing officer.

The Dallas-based chain instead decided to donate 1 million meals to Feeding America, a hunger relief group.

The roughly 33 million people who had 7-Eleven's membership app installed on their smartphones as of July 1 are also eligible for a free medium Slurpee at any time this month.