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Western Mass. Business Owner Offers Free Coffee To Boost Vaccination Rates

A sign outside a Pride store in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Alden Bourne
A sign outside a Pride store in Northampton, Massachusetts.

This week, Pride gas stations and convenience stores started giving a free large cup of coffee — iced or hot — to those who have been vaccinated.

Robert Bolduc is the owner and CEO of Pride, which operates 31 locations in western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut. He called the effort "our social responsibility."

"I'm doing it because everybody needs to gets vaccinated for health reasons for the world," he said. "And I'm not just going to say our families or our city or state. It's the world. Otherwise, we're never going to lick this virus. If it's left out there, it's going to continue to be spread around and it's going to go into variants which are worse."

Bolduc said people don't need to show any proof they've been vaccinated to get coffee for free. He said he's not worried about upsetting unvaccinated Pride customers.

The program will continue through the summer. 

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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