CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Panera Bread’s largest franchisee, Covelli Enterprises, is partnered with Cincinnati-based, The Cure Starts Now (CSN), this January and February in honor of Lauren Hill. The partnership not only includes a Panera Mac & Cheese give-back campaign in honor of Hill this February 18-24, but a two-month citywide fundraising campaign through the bakery-cafes’ Covelli Cares Community Bread Boxes.
During ‘Mac A Difference’ week at Panera, February 18-24, all area locations will donate $1 back to CSN for every Mac & Cheese sold to support Hill’s legacy. Hill became a local hero during her battle with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a form of pediatric brain cancer that CSN works tirelessly to eradicate. Before her passing in 2015, Hill raised in upwards of $2 million for CSN in the name of all the “voiceless children” this horrible disease takes, all the while fighting her own battle. And, Panera Bread in Cincinnati made her last days just a tiny bit more tolerable with its Vermont White Cheddar Mac.
“We used to stop at Panera frequently on our way to and from the hospital. And, then when the hospital became our home those last nine weeks, Panera stepped up to help us help Lauren,” explained Lisa Hill, Lauren’s mother, who also now works full-time for CSN. “Panera Mac & Cheese was one of the only foods Lauren craved in the late days of her battle that her body could also still tolerate, and the Colerain Panera made it possible for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to get Panera Mac in bulk so Lauren could have one of her favorites on-demand. She would be so proud of this campaign with Panera!”
The Mac give-back also translates to Panera’s catered Group Mac & Cheese product. For every Group Mac in a quart sold during campaign week, Panera will donate $4 back to the cause.
Customers can also support CSN in Hill’s honor through the restaurant chain’s Community Bread Box spare change canisters located near registers in all 24 Panera Bread locations in the Tri-State area through the end of February. Covelli Enterprises jump-started this campaign in January with a $3,000 donation.
"Lauren Hill’s courage, strength and powerful voice is evident in the legacy she continues to carry on years after her passing,” said Sam Covelli, Owner / CEO of Covelli Enterprises. “It’s humbling that Covelli Enterprises can be part of that journey through the Panera brand here in the Cincinnati community."
About Covelli Enterprises
Covelli Enterprises operates more than 315 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in eight states. Headquartered in Warren, Ohio, Covelli Enterprises is the single largest franchisee of Panera Bread, LLC. In 2017, Covelli Enterprises donated more than $32 million to hunger relief agencies and non-profit organizations. www.covelli.com
About The Cure Starts Now
The Cure Starts Now is one of the only cancer foundations dedicated to finding the Homerun Cure for cancer by focusing on one of the rarest, most aggressive forms of cancer. Believing in more than just awareness, The Cure Starts Now has funded over $12.5 million in cancer research, resulting in over 80 cutting edge research grants in 6 countries since 2007. www.thecurestartsnow.org
Information courtesy Covelli Enterprises & The Cure Starts Now