For those without the means to donate for a meal, the Panera Cares cafe also offers a volunteer program option.
"It's important that we find ways for the community to support our Panera Cares cafe, even if someone is unable to do so monetarily," said Shaich. "That's the purpose of our volunteer program. A customer can help perform basic front-of-the-house roles (like cleaning tables, sweeping, etc.) for one hour and receive a meal voucher at the end of that hour. It's a way to add to the dignity of the experience while still encouraging people to contribute to our mission through their time."
Any donations in excess of direct operating costs will be used to develop additional programs to serve the community. In St. Louis, Detroit and Portland, for example, Panera Cares offers a job training internship program for local at-risk youth. The intent of the program is to enhance the participants' educational experience, teach necessary work and life skills and provide access to a real life working environment and team.
The new 4,500 square foot bakery-cafe in Boston will employ more than 40 associates and managers. Numerous vendors also contributed to the effort to develop the Panera Cares community cafe in Boston, either by donating or discounting the price of everything from rent to furniture to coffee.
About Panera Cares Community Cafes
Panera Cares community cafes are run by the Panera Bread Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The menu at a Panera Cares community cafe is consistent with the traditional Panera Bread bakery cafe menu. At the end of the day, these cafes are not about offering a hand out. They're about offering a hand up to those who need it. The cafes also offer the option of volunteering an hour of time for a meal. The Panera Cares community cafe model is designed to be self-sustaining with support from the community. Additional information can be found at www.paneracares.org.
About the Panera Bread Foundation
Panera Bread Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Foundation accepts contributions through cash donations received in Panera Cares Community Breadbox donation boxes located in Panera Bread company-owned bakery-cafes throughout the United States, as well as in connection with its community cafes operating under the name Panera Cares. The community cafes provide high quality food in a warm, inviting and comfortable environment. Panera Cares cafes exist to make a difference by offering the Panera Bread experience with dignity to all -- those who can afford it, those who need a hand up, and everyone in between.
About Panera Bread
Panera Bread Company owns and franchises 1,625 bakery-cafes as of September 25, 2012, under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.® and Paradise Bakery & Café® names. We feature high quality, reasonably priced food in a warm, inviting and comfortable environment. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by antibiotic-free chicken, whole grain bread, and select organic and all-natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans-fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. In neighborhoods across the United States and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy our warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor and free Internet access. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on our website, http://www.panerabread.com.
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