Humanitarian, chef and restauranteur José Andrés and Panera Bread have partnered over shared values of hunger relief and fresh ingredients to help raise awareness of a pervasive issue in our food system: food insecurity. Today, Panera Bread unveils “Hunger, Interrupted” –a special installment of the brand’s series, “Food, Interrupted.” The episode takes a deep dive into the hunger crisis and Andres’ relief work with World Central Kitchen, a leading organization he founded to feed those in need.
Now, Panera guests nationwide can help join in the fight against hunger–today through March 31, for any whole sandwich purchased at a participating Panera location, the brand will donate part of the proceeds (up to $100,000) to World Central Kitchen*.
“I am grateful to have support from Panera Bread as World Central Kitchen works nationwide to feed those that are hungry,” says Chef Andrés.“One plate at a time, one sandwich at a time, we can improve and change the world.”
Chef Andrés and Panera Head Chef, Claes Petersson, met together to create a custom sandwich and discuss their shared belief that everyone deserves access to delicious, fresh ingredients. Now, back in Andres’ adopted hometown of Washington, D.C, the area has become the second-most food insecure region in the nation following the COVID-19 pandemic, and the food insecurity rate is estimated to be at least 16% this year, up from 10.6% pre-COVID. Yesterday, to further support the cause, Panera Bread donated freshly prepared meals from its Washington D.C. cafes to Martha’s Table.
“Joining forces with a great chef and humanitarian like José Andrés has been inspiring–we had an amazing conversation about the importance of access to fresh, quality food and ingredients,” says Claes Petersson, Chief Food Innovation Officer at Panera Bread. “Panera partners with more than 3,500 local food banks and pantries annually because we believe everyone deserves access to good food. Now more than ever, it’s important to give back and ensure those in need have access to freshly made meals -we hope that guests join our efforts in the fight against hunger.”
Panera is committed to making great food accessible to all. The company regularly donates ingredients from its supply chain to those in need including partnerships in the past year withFeeding America and the Children’s Hunger Alliance.Panera has also continued its longstanding food donation program, Day-End Dough-nation, in participating cafes, using a new contactless model to donate bread and baked goods to local community non-profits who are in need now more than ever.
To learn more about the hunger crisis and what you can do to help, visit panerabread.com/FoodInterrupted.