Panera Bread Urges Guests to Become Part of the Solution
(Long Island, NY) National statistics indicate that one in 6 people in America face hunger. That translates into 50 million people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. September is Hunger Action Month™ and its goal is to mobilize the public to act and spread awareness about the critical issue of hunger in America. So, what role can shortbread possibly play in helping to alleviate the problem?
Orange shortbread and a free breakfast is Panera Bread’s way of saying thank you to guests who want to help.
By wearing orange (the color of hunger action) to any Long Island Panera Bread café from September 16-22 or mentioning the name “Island Harvest” at the register, guests receive a free orange shortbread cookie, after making a food purchase, along with a breakfast coupon to use on a future visi. They also receive a flyer that directs their attention to the problem of hunger that exists right here on Long Island and suggests ways to help.
“Small individual steps can add up to a larger impact,” says Greg George, Vice President for Doherty Enterprises, franchisee of the Long Island bakery-cafes. “Why not ask co-workers to brown bag it for a week and then donate their savings to the local food bank or volunteer with your kids at a shelter or organize a neighborhood food drive?”
To understand the problem on a deep and personal level, Panera Bread CEO, Ron Shaich, is taking the SNAP Challenge for the month of September. The challenge involves eating on just $4.50 a day, the amount low-income individuals receive through the national food stamp program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). He’s encouraging others to take the challenge as well.
For more than 20 years, Island Harvest Food Bank has been serving as the bridge between those with surplus food and those who need it here on Long Island. Thanks to monetary and food donations they supply nearly 570 community-based nonprofit organizations with critical food and related support services. According to Randi Dresner, President and CEO of Island Harvest, their food bank network helps over 300,000 people, including more than 110,000 children.
Panera Bread, a long-time supporter of Island Harvest, donates over 2200 pounds of bread each week from its 23 bakery cafes as well as makes annual monetary contributions through its Operation Dough-nation program.
“GottAware Orange!” will take place from September 16-22 in all Long Island Panera Bread cafes.
About Island Harvest Food Bank
Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization, Island Harvest Food Bank provides food and non-food items for people who are hungry and in need, giving them a voice to help them transition from uncertainty to stability. Island Harvest’s mission is to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island through efficient food and product collection and distribution systems; enhanced hunger awareness and nutrition education programs, job training, targeted services for specific populations, and outreach and advocacy activities and initiatives. Island Harvest is the region’s lead agency in emergency response readiness for food and product distribution and support and is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger relief charity. For more information visit www.islandharvest.org.
About Panera Bread Company
Panera Bread Company owns and franchises 1,673 bakery-cafes as of March 26, 2013 under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.®, and Paradise Bakery & Café® 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 the United States 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. An essential sponsor, Panera Bread’s Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens locations provide over 2200 pounds of bread each week from its area bakery-cafes to Island Harvest and City Harvest its Operation Dough-nation® partners. Panera Bread was voted #1 among national chains in the Bethpage FCU 2013 Best of LI for: Best Healthy Eatery, Best Lunch Deal, Best Macaroni & Cheese, Best Salad and Best Soup. In the 2012 Zagat Fast Food Survey, Panera Bread was voted #1 in the Best Healthy Options category. While in October 2012, Nation’s Restaurant News reported a consumer survey ranking Panera Bread America’s #1 favorite sandwich chain. Additional information about Panera Bread is available on the Company’s website, http://www.panerabread.com.
Long Island locations: Bay Shore, Bohemia, Bridgehampton, Carle Place, East Meadow, East Northport, Farmingdale, Hauppauge, Hampton Bays, Hicksville, Huntington Station, Huntington Village (new), Lake Grove, Lawrence, Massapequa, Mineola, New Hyde Park, North Babylon, Port Jefferson, Riverhead, Rockville Centre, Syosset and West Babylon.
About Doherty Enterprises, Inc.
Established in 1985, Doherty Enterprises, Inc. is recognized as the 70th largest privately-held business in the New York Metro area by Crain’s Business and is the 10th largest franchisee in the United State by Nations Restaurant News, operating seven restaurant concepts including: Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread, Chevys Fresh Mex, Quaker Steak & Lube, Noodles & Company, and two of their own concepts, The Shannon Rose Irish Pub and Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas. To date, Doherty Enterprises owns and operates 140 restaurants in northern, southern and central New Jersey, Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island – and now in Florida and Georgia. The Doherty vision is to be the “Best Food Service Company in the Communities We Serve” and its mission is to “Wow Every Guest Every Time, Wow Our People, Wow Our Communities and Wow Our Suppliers.” (www.DohertyInc.com)