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Free Lunch at Panera Cares Café

Panera Bread Foundation Opens Another Panera Cares Community Café

January 14, 2011
By Press Release

The Panera Bread Foundation opened its second non-profit community café in Dearborn, Michigan back in November and just this week opened a third in Portland, Oregon. This expansion is the result of the concept’s success in Clayton, Missouri, where the first non-profit community café – called Saint Louis Bread Co. Cares – opened in May 2010.

Panera Cares is a new kind of café that exemplifies an entirely different way of giving back. It is a community café of shared responsibility. One of the goals of this charitable program is to ensure that everyone who needs a meal gets one. People are encouraged to take what they need and donate their fair share. There are no prices or cash registers, only suggested donation levels and donation bins....

“At the end of the day,” [Panera Bread CEO Ron] Shaich said, “this community café isn’t about offering a hand out. It’s about offering a hand up to those who need it.”....

The cafes also offer the option of volunteering an hour of time in exchange for a meal. The Panera Cares Café model is designed to be self-sustaining with support from the community.