Monday, July 09, 2012
“Panera Cares” for Angels’ Arms!
In addition to feeding people, Panera Bread makes difference in the communities it serves. And in teaming up with Angels’ Arms foster children, “Panera Cares” offers a job training program that teaches valuable skills, and includes our children as part of the Panera family.
An Angels’ Arms high school senior is participating in the Panera Cares job training internship at the Panera Cares Community Café in Clayton, MO. As an intern, she will receive one-on-one training that focuses on life skills and job skills. She will attend classes involving interpersonal communication, budgeting and career planning and complete two areas of certification in the café, such as production line, prep line, dining and barista. Upon graduation, she can apply at a Panera location near her home.
The Panera Cares Café is a unique restaurant where Panera's mission is to “feed people, restore dignity, and fill bellies as well as self esteem. We believe that everyone deserves a dignified dining experience in an uplifting environment regardless of their means.” This vision translates into a café where a “suggested” price is given for each menu item. The donation-based nonprofit cafe allows the customer to decide what to contribute to the donation bins. Those without any means to contribute have the option of donating an hour of their time to volunteering in the cafe in exchange for a meal.
“The Panera Internship is an excellent opportunity for our foster children,” stated Bess Wilfong, founder and executive director of Angels’ Arms. “In addition to an opportunity to work for Panera, it gives our teenagers valuable training that includes skills that will help them in any career. It is really exciting that a company like Panera actually cares about the teens and the aging-out foster care population.”
According to Panera’s website, “This is our way of sharing in the responsibility and making a difference in the world we all share.”