Seekonk, MA, September 26, 2013 — In concert with Feeding America’s “Hunger Action Month” the four Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Massachusetts (North Attleboro, Plainville, Seekonk and North Dartmouth) announce that The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), a Feeding America® member food bank, will be the recipient of all the funds collected through the cafes’ ongoing Panera Cares Community Breadbox™ Program. The Program gives customers the opportunity to donate money at the counter to support GBFBs efforts to provide nutritious food to eastern Massachusetts residents who are in need. The four participating Panera Bread bakery-cafes are owned and operated by Panera Bread franchisee, Howley Bread Group, LTD based in Cumberland, Rhode Island.
This commitment is part of Panera Bread’s ongoing
effort to lessen the problem of hunger in America. For years, Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group
has donated all unsold bread and baked goods each night to local Massachusetts
food pantries and other organizations that provide hunger relief through its
Day-End Dough-Nation™ program.
Collectively, the Panera Bread bakery-cafes across the country donated
approximately $100 million worth of retail bread and baked goods in 2012 making
the per cafe average annual bread donation
approximately $146,000. With this
average in mind, the four Panera Bread/HBG bakery cafes in Massachusetts
provide a total annual food donation of approximately $584,000.
“We’ve been focused on doing our part to help those
in need in the Commonwealth for some time now with our Day-End Dough-Nation
Program and numerous food drives,” said Bahjat Shariff, Vice President of
Operations for Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group.
“When Panera announced its commitment to Feeding America, we were happy
to know that these dollars would go directly to The Greater Boston Food Bank
which distributes food to agencies serving the hungry in eastern Massachusetts. In addition to the financial support, the
Panera Foundation will also help source higher quality food for local food
banks to offer. This partnership means
we now have the pieces in place to make an even greater impact on the food
insecurity problem that continues to persist in Massachusetts.” Shariff added that Howley Bread Group has a
volunteer day planned in late September to further engage its associates with
Panera’s efforts to end local hunger during “Hunger Action Month” and
throughout the year.
Every four years, The Greater Boston Food Bank
participates in a comprehensive study on the incidence and nature of hunger and
food insecurity in the United States.
The most recent study, released in 2010, illustrates how the economic
downturn has increased the need for food statewide and in eastern
Massachusetts. The local report reveals
as many as 545,000 people were served by GBFB in 2009, a 23 percent increase
since the last study was conducted in 2005.
One in nine residents of eastern Massachusetts faces hunger on a regular
basis. In addition, the study indicated
that about a third of the households receiving food assistance had at least one
child younger than 18 years of age.
Today, it is estimated that more than 142,260 children are at risk of
going hungry on any given day in eastern Massachusetts.
“Ending hunger in our community will take time, money
and food,” said Catherine D’Amato, GBFB President & CEO. “Panera customers are playing their role in
ending hunger by making donations at participating bakery-cafes. We thank Panera Bread and Howley Bread Group
for their generous contributions of volunteer time, financial donations from
the Community Breadbox™ Program and donations of food. They are true partners in our mission to ‘End
The Greater Boston Food Bank and Panera Bread
encourage Rhode Islanders to do their part to end food insecurity during
Feeding America’s “Hunger Action Month”. The many activities in which an individual or
business can engage are: wear orange to show support for hunger relief; donate
a portion of the daily proceeds from a business to fight hunger; or organize a
neighborhood food drive; volunteer at a local food bank, pantry or shelter.
Feeding America secures and
supplies more than 2 billion pounds of nationally donated food and grocery
products annually to its network of 200 food banks across the country. The
Greater Boston Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, is the largest
hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in
the country. GBFB distributes 47 million pounds of food annually, enough to
provide healthy meals to as many as 545,000 people. GBFB is committed to
increasing its food distribution to provide at least one meal a day to every
person in need within the 190
communities it serves in eastern Massachusetts
Panera Bread locations are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offer a
variety of menu items, including breads and bagels, breakfast sandwiches,
creative lunch and dinner sandwiches, pastas, hand-tossed salads, homemade
soups and a variety of espresso beverages. Panera Bread Catering also caters
and delivers its full menu for any occasion at the office or home. The breakfast, lunch and dinner assortment is
sure to impress every time. For a Panera
Bread Catering menu and more, please
visit the cafe or www.paneracatering.com.
Bread Group, LTD based in Cumberland, RI is one of Panera Bread’s top
franchises in the country. The
franchisee owns and operates a total of twenty-six bakery-cafes in RI,
Southeastern MA and Greater Hartford/Eastern CT markets. For more information, please
or visit the company’s web site at www.panerabreadhbg.com. Also, like HBG on Facebook at /howleybreadgroup and follow the company on Twitter
@panerabreadhbg to hear about upcoming new and returning menu items, community
involvement and events, employment opportunities, their Panera culture and much