Department of Children and Families
David E. Wilkins
May 4, 2012
Central Florida – The Florida Department of Children and Families recognizes Annette and Gavin Ford, franchise owners of Panera Bread locations throughout Central Florida, as they continue to offer more than simply monetary support to local social service, nonprofit and foster care organizations. Panera Bread, already famous for their freshly baked breads and delicious coffee, announced a contribution of nearly $400,000 to Central Florida charitable organizations including Second Harvest Food Bank and the Foundation for Foster Children last year alone.
Owners Annette and Gavin Ford remain active through programs they established that support the future of youth in foster care or those aging out of foster care. The Fords, who have been previously honored for creating unique career opportunities for teens in foster care, are exploring how to continue these programs during upcoming expansions. "After being introduced to The Foundation for Foster Children and learning more about its mission and the needs of local children in our community, I knew Panera could help. We are proud to share 'Panera warmth' with members of our local community throughout the year," Annette Ford said.
Panera Bread also announced that on Friday, May 4, 100 percent of the proceeds raised by the sale of their delicious blueberry bagel, which will be redesigned as a blue ribbon, will go to support Central Florida children in foster care. In addition, Panera Bread has pledged to match donations raised by the community to support a new scholarship for a therapeutic riding program for foster kids who have special needs.
"I commend Panera Bread for their creativity in support of foster children in Florida," said Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll. "When communities engage to ensure the well-being of Florida's children and families, everyone wins."
As a business leader in the Central Florida community, Panera Bread remains a dedicated neighbor – especially to children. Panera's relationship with local nonprofit and public agencies exemplifies and illustrates a true partnership, as no one entity alone can serve all of the challenging social service needs within a community.
Several social service organizations, including DCF, will gather with the Fords at Panera Bread, May 4, 9-11am, at the Winter Park cafe on Park Ave.