Panda Express, through its philanthropic arm Panda Cares, announced its contribution of $2 million to Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, to make sure families are fed and taken care of during this challenging time. The donation includes a matching donation of $1 million from Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng that will go towards a COVID-19 Response Fund, providing aid to families impacted by this pandemic. This announcement is the first of a few initiatives Panda is establishing to ease some challenges communities may encounter.
With millions of children out of school who depend on free lunches to receive a hot meal, and senior citizens sheltering in place without the ability to get food, food banks will use funds to support areas of greatest needs, including the creation and distribution of mobile food boxes. The COVID-19 Response Fund will allow designated food banks to secure the resources they need to serve the most vulnerable members of the community.
"At Panda, we have been empowering youth and underserved communities through health and education efforts for over 20 years, and we will continue to do that in the face of adversity. With everything that is happening, it is more important than ever that we all come together as a family to do our part to support those who need it the most," says Dr. Peggy Cherng, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Panda Restaurant Group. "We knew we needed to align with a trusted organization like Feeding America that can further amplify what Panda does best – satisfy a need for comfort and joy. We are grateful for the generosity of our guests and associates, whose thoughtful donations throughout the year make this one moment all possible."
The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks is uniquely positioned to help people who need it most. More than 37 million people, 11 million of whom are children, face hunger. Donations are the most impactful ways to help fight hunger across the country.
"In this unprecedented time, we are extremely thankful to Panda Express and the Cherng family for this meaningful donation," adds Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. "Their contribution will help the Feeding America network of food banks respond effectively and efficiently as we work to support families, children and seniors who are impacted by this pandemic."
Powered by Panda guests and associates, Panda Cares Foundation is funded through the in-store donation box program and associates at Panda Express, Panda Inn, and Hibachi-San as well as valued business partners. The foundation provides food, funding and volunteer services to underserved youth, and disaster relief efforts.