Panera To Raise $200,000 To Fight Hunger In Central Florida

Panera Bread and Second Harvest Food Bank Partner to Fight Hunger in Central Florida Over the Holidays!

With help from generous Panera customers, more than $200,000 will be raised during the Hope for the Holidays campaign

In November, Panera Bread launched the Hope for the Holidays campaign to help fight food insecurity in Central Florida. In partnership with its customers, Panera will raise more than $200,000, which will directly help Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distribute much-needed food to pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, senior programs and low-income daycares during this holiday season.

During the campaign, Panera customers and associates throughout Volusia, Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie, Flagler, and Lake counties were invited to make donations during their checkout. These generous contributions will be matched dollar for dollar by Panera.
To add further incentive, Gavin and Annette Ford – Central Florida’s Panera Bread franchise owners – will launch a second phase of the campaign to ensure a strong finish. From Wednesday, December 26 through Monday, December 31, Panera will award each donor of $5 or more with a free scratch gift card – guaranteed to be valued between $5 and $200. The gift cards can be redeemed during future visits to the restaurant.
“We wanted to make donating to Second Harvest a no-brainer and a win-win for our customers,” said Ford. “This promotion allows us to give each $5+ donor their money back in the form of a gift card. Together, with our customers, Panera is proud to be going the extra mile to help fight hunger and bring hope to families this holiday season.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in six Americans and one in four children struggle with food insecurity (defined as limited or uncertain access to adequate food). Over the last 12 months, over 50 million Americans could not afford to buy food at one time or another; 17 million Americans were chronically forced to skip meals (1).

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Panera to support our mutual goals of providing nutritious food to those in need. This donation will help us provide many meals to those in need,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “Panera’s Hope for the Holidays campaign is also an extremely effective vehicle to raise greater awareness about the issue of hunger. We’re very grateful for the partnership.”
Last year alone, Panera Bread locations throughout Central Florida, owned by the Fords, donated nearly $400,000 to local charitable organizations like Second Harvest.

Panera and Second Harvest will continue to seek additional ways to partner with the goal of harnessing the power of Panera Bread locations in Central Florida to raise awareness and understanding about hunger.

About Panera Bread
Panera Bread Company owns and franchises 1,541 bakery-cafes as of December 27, 2011 under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co. ® and Paradise Bakery & Cafe® names. We feature high quality, reasonably priced food in a warm, inviting and comfortable environment. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by antibiotic free chicken, whole grain bread and select organic and all natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. In neighborhoods across this country and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy our warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor and free internet access. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on the Company’s website, http://www.panerabread.com <http://www.panerabread.com> .

About Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Second Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America — the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. SHFB secures and distributes food and grocery products to approximately 500 agencies that feed the hungry throughout Central Florida. Last year, with the help of numerous donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed nearly 36 million pounds of grocery products — the equivalent of more than 26 million meals — to partner agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers and other vital food assistance programs. On average, more than 55,000 different people receive assistance from SHFB partners each week. To learn more about SHFB, visit www.FeedHopeNow.org <http://www.FeedHopeNow.org> .

(1) Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Mark Nord, Margaret Andrews, and Steven Carlson. Household Food Security in the United States in 2011. ERR-141, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September 2012.