McDonald's is introducing free "Thank You Meals" for first responders and health care workers and will give out the freebie through May 5.

McDonald's is introducing free "Thank You Meals" for first responders and health care workers serving on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, the fast-food giant announced Tuesday.

The free meals began Wednesday and through May 5, health care workers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics can get a free meal at participating restaurants nationwide available at the drive thru or for carry out.

The meals are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will be served in a Happy Meal box, "in the hopes of bringing a smile along with delicious food," the company said in a news release.

Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald's USA, said the two-week promotion was inspired by franchises that have started similar programs. Officials said they expect to give away millions of free meals.

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To get the free meal, McDonald's says the health care workers and first responders can show their work badge or ID or be in uniform. There's a limit of one per person per day and menu options may vary.

For breakfast, there's a choice of an Egg McMuffin, Chicken McGriddles or a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit, which come with any size soft drink, tea or hot coffee and a Hash Brown.

For lunch and dinner, the options are a Double Cheeseburger, six-piece Chicken McNuggets or a Filet-O-Fish, which come with any size soft drink, tea or hot coffee and small fries.

McDonald’s closed its dining rooms and play areas March 16 because of COVID-19 and 99% of U.S. locations remain open for carry out and delivery, the company said.

Other businesses also are giving freebies and discounts to first responders and health care workers. Some stores have designated special shopping hours for these frontline workers, too.

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