Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts Panera Bread bakery-cafes kicked off their Holiday Gift Drive campaign Monday. Customers can participate by simply going to the counter, selecting a gift tag with a specific child’s first name on it and then purchasing the “wish list” items noted. Each gift tag is special with a different child, age and list of gifts on it. Gifts should be brought back to the manager of the bakery-cafe by Monday, Dec. 9 unwrapped in a shopping or gift bag with the gift tag attached.
Rhode Island Cafes in Cranston, East Greenwich, Lincoln, Newport, Providence, Smithfield, Wakefield and Warwick and Massachusetts stores in North Attleborough, Plainville and Seekonk are working together with Children’s Friend based in Providence. Panera Bread bakery-cafes are owned and operated by Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group based in Cumberland, R.I.
Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group also recently announced a partnership with Feeding America®, where all donations collected through its cafes’ ongoing Panera Cares Community Breadbox™ Program will go directly to Feeding America member food banks. This program gives customers the opportunity to donate money at the register to support the local member food banks’ efforts to provide nutritious food to residents in need. This new partnership is part of Panera Bread’s ongoing effort to combat 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 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.