As part of my Monday Munchies series, I will feature a different eatery for a review on the first and third Monday of every month. Hope you enjoy!
A Panera Cares location opened up right by my office on January 23, 2013. Since then I regularly go in for a breakfast sandwich. A Mediterranean Egg White on Ciabatta (egg whites, roasted tomatoes, spinach, Vermont white cheddar & basil pesto on ciabatta) with extra tomatoes every time to be exact. Sometimes I get a hazelnut coffee.
Ummm, why am I writing about a Panera and what I get for breakfast?
I wanted to share about this special cafe. It’s not a normal Panera as it is their 5th Panera Cares location that is a non-profit community cafe. Well, what does that mean?
It is their mission these locations serve the community by providing people with meals if they are in need. No, I am not in need. I go there so that I can get a great breakfast and provide a donation so that others in need can get food there. They take cash and debit cards but don’t exactly have registers as they use donation boxes.
Here is where I get my coffee. You can also get your coffee here.
Panera provides a suggested donation next to each menu item. (The calorie count that is typically there is in a binder). This is the price that they hope you can provide for the meal you are getting. In my case I just round up to the next dollar so I let the ‘cashier’ know that when I am paying with my credit card. If you are not able to pay for the meal you pay what you can by putting what your available cash in a donation box. If you are not able to pay anything they hope that you could provide some of you time for an hour to help in the cafe.
I think this is such a cool concept because they are providing everyone with a great meal and letting people pay what they can afford. I think it’s great that these locations exist so people can have an opportunity to enjoy something just like everyone else when they are in need.
I hope that you visit the Panera Cares cafe if you are in the area to check out the cafe and help out other in need. As stated on the Panera Cares site: “The Boston Panera Cares team is excited to raise the level of awareness about the ongoing epidemic of food insecurity that affects one in nine residents of eastern Massachusetts.”
3 Center Plaza
Boston, MA 02108
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