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Panera Bread presents a $2,200 donation

Date: 9/21/2009

East Longmeadow Panera Bread in East Longmeadow recently presented a check for $2,200 to the East Longmeadow Council on Aging. The money will be used to provide services to the Council on Aging's "Meals on Wheels" program.

"We believe that the universal spirit of bread is sharing," said Mitchell Roberts, franchise partner of Panera Bread in East Longmeadow. "That's why we are committed to being a good neighbor to the East Longmeadow area. We are proud to partner with The Council on Aging so that even more people can benefit from their programs with the help of Operation Dough-Nation."

The East Longmeadow caf originally collected $1,100 from customers through the in-store canisters, which are displayed near the registers in each of its bakery-cafes. Then Panera Bread matched its customers' donations dollar for dollar.

The East Longmeadow Council on Aging runs a "Meals on Wheels" program, delivering seventy meals a day to the elderly in the community. The program is headed by staff and volunteers, who serve as in house cooks and drivers. Past donations from Operation Dough-Nation helped build a brand new kitchen in the Senior Center. Funds from this donation will help purchase food for the "Meals on Wheels" program.

"Panera Bread's commitment to helping elders is evident in their generous donation to the COA Meals on Wheels Program," Carolyn Brennan, Executive Director for the East Longmeadow Council on Aging, said. "The benefits of the program are endless. As important as providing a nutritious meal, it also provides the security of knowing that a friendly volunteer will check on an elder's well being on delivery days and respond quickly if an emergency arises.