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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Panera Bread® Gives Back to Local Communities

Southern California Bakery-Cafes Raise Funds to Fight Hunger and Support Those In Need 

LOS ANGELES, CA (December 23, 2013) –Southern California Panera Bread® bakery-cafes are giving back to their communities this holiday season through a variety of local fundraising and volunteer events. These efforts are part of Panera’s long-standing commitment to fighting food insecurity in local communities, which it does year-round through its Day-End Dough-Nation™ and Panera Cares® Community Breadbox™ programs.

“Panera has always been committed to giving back to the communities where our bakery-cafes are located, and these holiday efforts are in line with that spirit of giving,” said Stephanie Wren, Regional Marketing Manager for Panera Bread. “We understand that the holidays can be an especially tough time for individuals and families in need, and we’re glad we can increase our efforts and impact.”

Bakery-cafes in Los Angeles recently teamed up with Enrich L.A. to donate quality, great tasting food for the annual Thanksgiving Meal at the St. Francis Center, which provides relief and support to homeless and low-income individuals and families in Los Angeles. Panera Bread franchise locations in North Hollywood and Orange County are giving back to their local charities by donating $7,000 in food and supplies to the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission and $25,000 to the Hoag Hospital Foundation, respectively. Holiday activities will culminate with associates from Panera Bread locations throughout Southern California volunteering at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on Christmas Eve to package food items for those struggling with hunger.

Through their Hunger Action Month fundraising activities in September of this year, Southern California bakery-cafes have raised more than $9,000 for local food banks including the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, Second Harvest Food Bank of Riverside and San Bernardino, Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, and FOOD Share, Ventura County’s Food Bank.

Panera Bread has worked to help combat the problem of hunger for 25 years and these holiday fundraising commitments are part of Panera’s ongoing efforts to combat hunger and make a difference in local communities. For years, Panera Bread has donated unsold bread and baked goods to local Southern California hunger relief organizations through its Day-End Dough-Nation™ program. Last year, Panera Bread bakery-cafes nationally donated a retail value of approximately $100 million worth of unsold bread and baked goods through its Day-End Dough-Nation™ program to help neighbors in need.

Through Panera’s relationship with Feeding America®, the nation’s leading domestic hunger relief organization, participating member food banks in more than 75 U.S. markets are able to provide the same soup served in Panera’s cafes to local food pantries and other organizations serving those in need. The program is supported by cash donations from Panera customers through the Panera Cares® Community Breadbox™ program in participating bakery-cafes. Half of the donations are used to help fund soup procurement and the other half is donated as cash to support Feeding America food banks’ efforts to provide quality, nutritious food to those in need. A portion of cash donations made by customers in participating bakery-cafes may also be matched by Panera or its franchisees.

About Panera Bread

As of September 24, 2013, there are 1,736 bakery-cafes in 45 states and in Ontario, Canada operating under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.® or Paradise Bakery & Cafe® names. This includes 850 Company-owned bakery-cafes and 886 Franchise-operated bakery-cafes. 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. Additional information is available on our website, http://www.panerabread.com.

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