ST. LOUIS, April 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Feeding America® estimates that an additional 17.1 million people could face hunger in the next six months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, as part of its mission to make good food accessible to all, Panera launched the #SeeAPlateFillAPlate Challenge to inspire Americans to donate and fill a plate for someone in need. Raising awareness is now more important than ever—with food banks across America in urgent need of donations, just $3 can make a difference. The #SeeAPlateFillAPlate Challenge will raise funds for Together Without Hunger - a campaign in partnership with Feeding America to help provide freshly-prepared meals to children and families facing hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Panera is encouraging those who can to join in and give at TogetherWithoutHunger.org, where a $3 donation will help put a freshly-prepared meal on the table for a person in need. After donating, people are encouraged to spread the word by taking part in the #SeeAPlateFillAPlate Challenge on Instagram—decorating an empty plate, sharing a selfie with their creation on Instagram and tagging 5 friends to join the movement. More than 37 million people face hunger in America. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increased need for food assistance in communities across the country. Every donation can help fill someone's plate.
"We are all facing this unprecedented crisis together, and many are struggling to put food on the table," said Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO. "We have a unique opportunity to come together—to be a catalyst for good through our See a Plate, Fill a Plate movement – together, we can help combat food insecurity in our communities and make good food accessible to all."
This week, participating Panera bakery-cafes across the country started preparing meals five days a week to be delivered to Feeding America food banks across the country. Panera has committed to deliver up to 500,000 meals, which include sandwiches made with high-quality meats and cheeses on whole grain bread, freshly prepared with care and delivered directly to local communities. By combining Panera's kitchens with Feeding America's nationwide network, each $3 Together Without Hunger donation will help a person have one less meal to worry about during this crisis.
"Families across the country are being impacted by this crisis—we simply can't ignore what is happening in all of our communities—in some places, the need is growing by up to 50 percent," said Sara Burnett, VP Wellness & Food Policy. "At Panera we aim to not only help meet the immediate need for food, but also to raise awareness of the hunger crisis at hand and what people can do to help."
Panera has teamed up with DKMS as a key partner to help fundraising efforts for Together Without Hunger. As an existing Panera philanthropic partner with a long-standing commitment to supporting children, DKMS is using their expertise to meet children's most pressing need, access to freshly prepared meals.
To donate or find more information about the Together Without Hunger campaign and the #SeeAPlateFillAPlate challenge, visit togetherwithouthunger.org.
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 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.
As of March 31, 2020, there were 2,174 bakery-cafes in 48 states and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread® or Saint Louis Bread Co.® names. For more information, visit panerabread.com or find us on Twitter (@panerabread), Facebook (facebook.com/panerabread) or Instagram (@panerabread).
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SOURCE Panera Bread