ST. LOUIS, March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Humanitarian, chef and restauranteur José Andrés and Panera Bread have partnered over shared values of hunger relief and fresh ingredients to help raise awareness of a pervasive issue in our food system: food insecurity. Today, Panera Bread unveils "Hunger, Interrupted" – a special installment of the brand's series, "Food, Interrupted." The episode takes a deep dive into the hunger crisis and Andres' relief work with World Central Kitchen, a leading organization he founded to feed those in need.
Now, Panera guests nationwide can help join in the fight against hunger– today through March 31, for any whole sandwich purchased at a participating Panera location, the brand will donate part of the proceeds (up to $100,000) to World Central Kitchen*.
"I am grateful to have support from Panera Bread as World Central Kitchen works nationwide to feed those that are hungry," said Chef Andrés. "One plate at a time, one sandwich at a time, we can improve and change the world."
Chef Andrés and Panera Head Chef, Claes Petersson, met together to create a custom sandwich and discuss their shared belief that everyone deserves access to delicious, fresh ingredients. Now, back in Andres' adopted hometown of Washington, D.C, the area has become the 2nd most food insecure region in the nation following the COVID-19 pandemic, and the food insecurity rate is estimated to be at least 16% this year, up from 10.6% pre-COVID. Yesterday, to further support the cause, Panera Bread donated freshly prepared meals from its Washington D.C. cafes to Martha's Table.
"Joining forces with a great chef and humanitarian like José Andrés has been inspiring – we had an amazing conversation about the importance of access to fresh, quality food and ingredients," said Claes Petersson, Chief Food Innovation Officer at Panera Bread. "Panera partners with more than 3,500 local food banks and pantries annually because we believe everyone deserves access to good food. Now more than ever, it's important to give back and ensure those in need have access to freshly made meals - we hope that guests join our efforts in the fight against hunger."
Panera is committed to making great food accessible to all. The company regularly donates ingredients from its supply chain to those in need including partnerships in the past year with Feeding America and the Children's Hunger Alliance. Panera has also continued its longstanding food donation program, Day-End Dough-nation®, in participating cafes, using a new contactless model to donate bread and baked goods to local community non-profits who are in need now more than ever.
To learn more about the hunger crisis and what you can do to help, visit panerabread.com/FoodInterrupted.
Purchase a Panera sandwich from 3/23/21- 3/31/21 from a participating U.S. Panera Bread bakery-cafe (Company locations only) and Panera, LLC will donate $1.00 from the sale of each sandwich to World Central Kitchen. Panera will make a maximum donation of $100,000. Only whole sandwiches are eligible for this promotion. Breakfast sandwiches, half sandwiches, Catering orders and orders made on third party sites are excluded from this promotion. For more information, please visit: panerabread.com/FoodInterrupted.
About Panera Bread Thirty years ago, at a time when quick service meant low quality, Panera set out to challenge this expectation. We believed that food that was good and that you could feel good about, served in a warm and welcoming environment by people who cared, could bring out the best in all of us. To us, that is food as it should be and that is why we exist.
So, we began with a simple commitment: to bake bread fresh every day in our bakery-cafes. No short cuts, just bakers with simple ingredients and hot ovens. Each night, any unsold bread and baked goods were shared with neighbors in need.
These traditions carry on today, as we have continued to find ways to be an ally for wellness to our guests. That means crafting a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches that we are proud to feed our families. Like poultry and pork raised without antibiotics on our salads and sandwiches. A commitment to transparency and options that empower our guests to eat the way they want. Seasonal flavors and whole grains. And a commitment to removing or not using artificial additives (preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and colors from artificial sources on our No No list) in the food in our U.S. bakery-cafes. Why? Because we think that simpler is better and we believe in serving food as it should be. Because when you don't have to compromise to eat well, all that is left is the joy of eating.
We're also focused on improving quality and convenience. With investments in technology and operations, we now offer new ways to enjoy your Panera favorites – like mobile ordering and Rapid Pick-Up® for to-go orders and delivery – all designed to make things easier for our guests.