Each year, the American Red Cross responds to more than 62,000 disasters across the country with a largely volunteer corps of people who always over-deliver for others in need. In fact, volunteers comprise more than 90 percent of the American Red Cross disaster workforce. As severe weather events such as tornadoes, floods and wildfires typically increase in the summer months, Panera Bread is partnering with the American Red Cross this summer to honor and support volunteers—these “over-deliverers” who do so much for others when disaster strikes.

Missouri, home to Panera’s headquarters, has experienced multiple weather disasters in the last year. As part of the partnership, Panera is pledging a $20,000 in-kind donation to the American Red Cross to help fuel volunteers during training, recovery and relief efforts in its home state of Missouri. Panera is also making it easy for customers to join us in supporting the Red Cross nationwide—for every delivery order placed from now through August 2nd, Panera will donate a portion* of the delivery fee, up to $100,000, to the American Red Cross, to help with disaster relief efforts including foodservice.

“We’re proud to partner with the American Red Cross to champion the volunteers who over-deliver for others in their time of need,” says Niren Chaudhary, chief executive officer of Panera.  “At Panera, we believe food provides a way for people to connect and come together, whether it’s in the immediate wake of a disaster, or as a community recovers.”

Donations to Disaster Relief help to power the Red Cross with strong infrastructure, trained volunteers, innovative technology, and critical resources necessary to provide relief and support to those in crisis, as well as to assist communities through the recovery phase. One of the ongoing needs—whether for volunteers or those affected by the weather disasters—is a reliable source of food, and Panera’s donation will be allocated toward the American Red Cross’ foodservice efforts. Panera will also honor the volunteers by sharing some of their stories on the brand’s social media channels

“Donations from partners like Panera Bread are essential to our ability to immediately assist disaster survivors and support the first responders and volunteers who work tirelessly at the scene of a disaster,” says Don Herring, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. “These contributions will help to ensure our volunteers are immediately on the ground to help people in need, no matter when or where the disaster occurs.”

Donations to Disaster Relief enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. People interested in making a donation directly to the American Red Cross can visit redcross.org.

Charitable Giving, News, Panera Bread