The Panera Bread on 1000 Bald Hill Road in Warwick is holding a food drive for its “Day-End” Dough-Nation partner, Westbay Community Action Program Marketplace Food Pantry, throughout this month in support of Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month. In exchange for donating an item, customers can enter to win a Panera Prize (one winner announced every Friday this month). Recommended food items include pasta and spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, vegetables, coffee and tea, cereal, crackers, boxed meals and condiments, as well as toiletries, hygiene products and baby items.
The Westbay Community Action’s Marketplace Food Pantry, located at 331 Buttonwoods Avenue, is open weekdays 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves as a regional center for food security services. Households receive donated nutritious emergency food and nutritional information about healthy meal preparation and are connected to other food security services.
Toward that end, the Marketplace Food Pantry picks up the bakery-cafe’s leftover bread, bagels and pastries Monday through Friday night and distributes them to those in need in the local community as part of Panera’s “Day-End” program, which is carried out in every Panera Bread location across the country. The Warwick Panera has also recently named Angel Labossiere of Warwick its “Living Consciously” Captain. In this role, Labossiere is responsible for making a difference within the cafe and in the town of Warwick by maintaining food packaging guidelines for its “Day-End” partners and organizing volunteer events and food drives like the one happening this month.
All of these actions support the mission of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, which works to engage the country in the fight to end hunger. The goal of its Hunger Action Month is to raise awareness of food insecurity throughout September.
“In the spirit of Hunger Action Month, we are thrilled to do our part and hold this food drive throughout the month to help stock the Westbay Community Action Marketplace Food Pantry,” said Labossiere, also a trainer at Panera Warwick. More details on different ways to volunteer can be found by visiting www.hungeractionmonth.org.
In addition to its Day-End Program, Panera Bread operates Operation Dough-Nation®, which is committed to ensuring that purchases at Panera Bread feed back into the community. Cash donations made in each bakery-cafe by customers are increased through various matching programs by Panera/HBG and donated to local organizations.
Panera Bread Warwick is owned by one of Panera’s leading franchises, the Howley Bread Group, LTD of Cumberland. The franchisee owns and operates a total of 24 bakery-cafes.