Panera Bread in Westchester has made a $5,000 contribution to the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank to support its Kids Cafe program at the Boys & Girls Club in Venice.

Through Panera Bread’s program called “Operation Dough- Nation,” cash donations that are made in the company’s bakery-cafes are matched with freshly baked bread and cash and distributed to local food banks.

The Foodbank’s Kids Cafe program provides nutritious meals and snacks to low-income children to ensure that they’re getting the food their bodies need to concentrate and learn in school.

Because Panera Bread recognizes that domestic hunger is a large problem in Los Angeles County, the company has opted to help the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank’s Kids Cafe Program “to make sure that our local community children get the best possible start at school,” says a company spokesman.

“We’re glad that our patrons support our Operation Dough-Nation program,” says Filiberto Garcia, general manager of Panera Bread. “Some of the children in our community may not have all the resources they need.

“Through this program we can make sure that they’re at least getting the proper nutrition they need to learn and grow.”

“The children enjoy the meals and snacks that they get through the Kids Cafe program,” said Armando Diaz, director of operations at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. “Along with guidance and tutoring, nutrition plays a large part for the children that participate in our program.”

“We’d like to thank Panera Bread for their support,” said Michael Flood, president and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank.

“Having partners like Panera helps us target those children who may be at more risk of not getting the proper nutrition they need.

“We hope this encourages more local companies to support programs like the Kids Cafe or our Power Pack program that helps children at risk of hunger get nutritious meals.”

Information, www.lafood bank.org

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