Covelli’s Panera cafes to help Harvey victims

WARREN — Covelli Enterprises has launched an effort to help Hurricane Harvey victims.

The Warren-based company, the largest Panera bread franchisee operating more than 300 locations in seven states, is hosting the Hurricane Harvey relief effort “Chip in for Houston” at all of its bakery-cafes. For every Chocolate Chipper cookie sold, Covelli is donating 25 cents to the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

The fundraiser, which started Friday, will continue through the month at all Panera locations owned and operated by Covelli.

“Our hearts are with the people in Houston right now,” said Sam Covelli, CEO of Covelli Enterprises. “It’s important to us to do something in our cafes to support the relief efforts going on down there, even though we have no locations in the area. We are all Texans right now, and we will do all we can to help in this time of need because it’s the right thing to do.”

Covelli’s Panera locations also will collect community cashbox donations at their registers to raise additional funds.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund after he received inquiries from citizens and companies wanting to help with relief efforts, according to the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s website.