Traditional Bakery Inc. and Oklahoma City Bakery Inc. donated more than $1.3 million in food and money during 2012, according to Renee Eiffert, director of marketing for the fast casual bakery-café chain based in Springfield, Mo. /OKC owns and operates 32 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Arkansas, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Southwest Missouri, including Joplin, Branson, and Springfield.
Panera’s culture is based on being good community stewards, whether it’s to help feed the hungry or help those who may need a respite from spending their nonprofit budget on food costs for fundraisers. In the Tulsa Metro Area, Panera Bread donated more than $78,000 to help local food programs and pantries, schools, shelters, churches and other nonprofit organizations.
Panera’s main focus in charitable giving is helping feed those who are at risk for being hungry. According to national Feeding America statistics, 1 in 5 children in America live in food insecure households and 1 in 6 of the entire population in America live in food insecure households. Panera Bread in the Tulsa area supports the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma as part of its Operation Doughnation program. Panera Bread customers make cash donations at the register to support the fight against hunger.
Panera Bread bakes its products fresh every day and product left at the end of the day is donated to local pantries and shelters who help feed those in need.