Panera Bread has unveiled “Hunger, Interrupted” – a special installment of the brand’s series, “Food, Interrupted” – which takes a deep dive into the hunger crisis and chef/restauranteur José Andres’ relief work with World Central Kitchen, a leading organization he founded to feed those in need. The episode looks to help raise awareness of a pervasive issue in our food system: food insecurity.

Additionally, from now through March 31, for any whole sandwich purchased at a participating Panera location, the brand will donate part of the proceeds (up to $100,000) to World Central Kitchen.

“I am grateful to have support from Panera Bread as World Central Kitchen works nationwide to feed those that are hungry,” says Chef Andrés. “One plate at a time, one sandwich at a time, we can improve and change the world.”

Chef Andrés and Panera head chef Claes Petersson met together to create a custom sandwich and discuss their shared belief that everyone deserves access to delicious, fresh ingredients. In Andres’ adopted hometown of Washington, DC, the area has become the second most food insecure region in the nation following the COVID-19 pandemic, and the food insecurity rate is estimated to be at least 16% this year, up from 10.6% pre-COVID. Panera recently donated freshly prepared meals from its Washington DC cafes to Martha’s Table, a non-profit organization there.

“Joining forces with a great chef and humanitarian like José Andrés has been inspiring – we had an amazing conversation about the importance of access to fresh, quality food and ingredients,” says Claes Petersson. “Panera partners with more than 3,500 local food banks and pantries annually because we believe everyone deserves access to good food. Now more than ever, it’s important to give back and ensure those in need have access to freshly made meals - we hope that guests join our efforts in the fight against hunger.”