For years 7-Eleven has celebrated its birthday by giving out free Slurpees on July 11 (7/11), but this years' celebration is going to be a little different.

7-Eleven

The convenience store recently announced that in light of the coronavirus pandemic, they are canceling 7-Eleven day for the first time in almost 20 years. The decision was made due to safety concerns for customers and employees since the Slurpee machines are mainly self-serve.

The Tri-Cities 7-Elevens include three in Richland, two in Pasco and one in Kennewick.

"At 7-Eleven, our top priority is the safety of customers, Franchisees, and employees," said 7-Eleven Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Marissa Jarratt in a press release. "Gathering nine million of our closest friends in stores on one day just didn't feel right."

To commemorate the company's birthday, 7-Eleven is instead donating 1 million meals through Feeding America to help communities that have especially struggled throughout the COVID-19 time. And 7-Eleven still plans to give away free Slurpees this year, just in a different format.

7-Eleven

Participating stores will be giving a free coupon for a medium Slurpee to everyone with a 7Rewards member account. The coupon will be in the app and is redeemable July 1 through July 31, 2020. 7-Eleven hopes that this promo will encourage rewards members to treat themselves while staying socially distant.

Throughout the pandemic, 7-Eleven has been keeping customers safe while employing more than 20,000 new workers. Management says the new employees are helping to ensure 7-Eleven stores remain clean and in-stock with the goods their customers need during this critical time.