Panda Restaurant Group, the parent company of Panda Express, is pledging up to $2 million to the American Red Cross to provide essential care for the individuals affected by the Hawaii wildfires through the Panda Cares Foundation fundraising program and a dollar-for-dollar corporate match. From August 15th through August 21st at participating U.S. locations, 100% of guest donations collected through the in-store Panda Cares Donation Boxes and online will be matched up to $1 million by Panda Express to benefit Hawaii wildfires victims.
Acting promptly, the local Panda Express operations in Maui collaborated with the Salvation Army and Red Cross this past weekend to host a Panda Cares event, feeding over 600 first responders and community members displaced by the fires. Additional free meals will be provided to local community members throughout the month. All locations in Maui are currently operating in full service with the exception of the Lahaina store, which is closed temporarily.
"The impact of the Maui wildfires has been devastating, and we extend our heartfelt empathy and care to those who have been affected by this tragedy, including our local Panda associates," says Dr. Peggy Cherng, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Panda Express. "Giving is a core value at Panda, and we are grateful to establish this matching fund that will double the generosity of our guests and associates in support of the Maui community."
To care for local teams affected by the wildfires, impacted Panda Express associates will continue to receive paychecks while stores are closed. Panda Express is also offering free counseling services and financial assistance through its Panda Associate Assistance Fund (PAAF), established to aid fellow associates experiencing financial hardships due to a recent crisis, illness, or emergency beyond their means.
Panda Cares Foundation is funded through the in-store and online donation box program and with contributions from associates at Panda Express, Panda Inn, and Hibachi-San as well as Panda Restaurant Group partners and founders. Panda Cares provides food and Panda associates volunteer their time to underserved youth and disaster relief efforts. For more information about Panda Cares, please visit PandaCares.org.