[By Jessica Bursztynsky]

Uber is giving away free meals to health-care workers and first responders who are helping combat the coronavirus pandemic, Nelson Chai, the company’s chief financial officer, told CNBC on Monday.

“We’re going to deliver over 300,000 meals for health officials and first responders who are on the front line,” Chai said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “We’re doing what we can.”

The company’s Uber Eats segment is also waiving delivery fees for small businesses in some of its markets.

“As more customers are choosing to stay indoors, we’ve waived the Delivery Fee for the more than 100,000 independent restaurants across US & Canada on Uber Eats,” the company said. “We will also launch daily dedicated, targeted marketing campaigns—both in-app and via email—to promote delivery from local restaurants, especially those that are new to the app.”

The move comes as government officials in major cities — such as New York and Los Angeles — order restaurants, bars and cafes to close to the public, limiting customers to pick up or delivery.

The free meals will help health-care workers and first responders in the United States and Canada, according to a press release.

“We know that the work of medical and crisis response teams can be tireless, and the hours long; we hope we can help in a small way,” Janelle Sallenave, head of Uber Eats, said in a statement.

There are at least 3,774 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and at least 69 people have died as of Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Several companies have shut down or limited operations in an effort to slow the virus. Uber, joining many of its peers, has asked employees to work from home, if it is possible for them to do so.

~source