Commend Panera Bread CEO for Raising Awareness about the Food Crisis

Food Stamps

Target: CEO and founder of Panera Bread, Ron Shaich

Goal: Thank Ron Shaich for highlighting the number of people reliant on food stamps in America

The CEO and founder of Panera Bread, Ron Shaich, lived off of food stamps for one week. His goal was to raise awareness for the growing number of people living off of food stamps in America. Hunger is a serious issue all over the world; children go to bed hungry in our own backyard every night. There is so much that should be done to help solve the hunger crisis; applaud Ron Shaich for taking a step in the right direction.

Ron Shaich made his food budget in accordance with what the average person on food stamps receives: $4.50 per day. This allowed him $31.50 for the entire week. Many individuals use food stamps as a supplement to their income, in which case thirty dollars provides quite a bit of extra food per week. However, 48 million people receive food stamps and a vast amount of that group rely solely on food stamps to feed themselves and their family. Ron noted that as soon as he started to fill his shopping cart, anxiety set in. He had to put items back as he went along and kept track of every penny. This is how too many people live every day.

Food, especially healthy food, is expensive, and the price point is not decreasing. The ability to obtain nutritious food is so critical, yet so impossible for some; people and organizations need to think of solutions to hunger. The anxiety caused by the budget did not end at the grocery store for Ron; neither does it for those reliant on food stamps. Ron was watching the clock and rationing his food intake to make sure he had enough to eat. Through this week-long project Ron realized the severity of the food crisis, and is hoping others will help him change the situation. As part of making this progress, Panera Bread currently donates their leftover baked goods to hungry people. Applaud Ron Shaich for his proactive approach to hunger.


Dear Ron Shaich, CEO of Panera Bread,

Millions of adults and children go to bed with an empty stomach every night. A major food crisis has been under way for years, and the prospects are not promising. The food crisis is affecting individuals to the point that they have to rely on government help to feed themselves, but even this is not enough. Recently you put yourself in these individuals’ shoes and lived on a food stamp budget for one week; thank you for raising awareness and alerting people to the serious nature of hunger and food availability.

Being the CEO of a successful restaurant chain, food affordability is normally not in your realm of worries. By living on an extremely tight budget for a week you were able to understand how scary and uncomfortable relying on food stamps can be. Please continue to raise awareness of the hunger crisis plaguing our country, and encourage other business owners to do the same.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: chrstphre Campbell via Flickr

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