Starting this Monday, Panera Bread is launching a week-long campaign in its Long Island cafes as part of Hunger Action Month to engage its guests in the fight against hunger.
One in six people in America face hunger. To promote awareness of the problem, Panera is giving aware free orange shortbread and a free grilled breakfast sandwich to customers wearing orange (the color of hunger action) or who mention the name “Island Harvest” at the register.
Guests making a food purchase will receive a free orange shortbread cookie along with a coupon for a free grilled breakfast sandwich to use on a future visit. More importantly, they will receive a flyer that directs their attention to the problem of hunger that exists right here on Long Island and suggests simple ways to help become part of the solution.
“The goal is to mobilize the public to act and spread awareness,” says Greg George, Vice President for Doherty Enterprises, franchisee of the Long Island bakery-cafes.
To understand the problem on a deep and personal level, Panera Bread CEO, Ron Shaich, is taking a seven-day SNAP Challenge. The challenge involves eating on just $4.50 a day, the amount low-income individuals receive through the national food stamp program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). He’s encouraging others to take the challenge as well.
For more than 20 years, Island Harvest Food Bank has been serving as the bridge between those with surplus food and those who need it here on Long Island. Thanks to monetary and food donations they supply nearly 570 community-based nonprofit organizations with critical food and related support services. According to Randi Dresner, President and CEO of Island Harvest, their food bank network helps over 300,000 people, including more than 110,000 children.
Panera Bread, a long-time supporter of Island Harvest, donates over 2200 pounds of bread each week from its 23 bakery cafes as well as makes annual monetary contributions through its Operation Dough-nation program.
“GottAware Orange!” will take place from September 16-22 in all Nassau and Suffolk county Panera Bread cafes. The Syosset Panera is located at 407 Jericho Turnpike.