Panera ready to feed kids across Ohio

WARREN — Panera and Warren-based Covelli Enterprises announced a partnership with the Children’s Hunger Alliance and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide freshly prepared meals to Ohio children in need.

The announcement came during a press briefing last week in the White House with President Donald Trump and Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera.

Covelli’s Panera restaurants will be assisting the Hunger Alliance to feed the hundreds of thousands of children who typically are provided meals at Ohio schools, after-school care and child care centers.

Panera also is working with the USDA to scale this model with other states.

The Panera and the alliance meal partnership will kick off in Ohio on April 6.

“At the onset of this terrible pandemic, our company immediately realized that it had a duty to help in any way that we could. I reached out to the governor to see what immediate needs the state had,” said Sam Covelli of Warren, the largest Panera franchisee. “On behalf of Covelli Enterprises, we are grateful to be able to bring meals to those children who need it most. In these unprecedented times, I whole-heartedly believe that we must all come together to do what we can to help.”

The Panera-provided CHA meals include a menu of five different choices from salad to sandwiches and veggie snack boxes, including a new whole grain bread. All these meals are balanced per USDA guidances to include dairy, lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These meals are being offered at an extreme discount to align with current USDA school food prices.

As the need continues to grow across the nation, the Panera teams also stand ready to assist other states and communities. Panera is encouraging in-need non-profits or state government to contact the company at schoolmeals@panerabread.com.



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