LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Many drivers have probably seen the newly constructed Panera Bread off Nelson Road in Lake Charles, but most probably don't know the charity work the chain restaurant does on a daily basis.
The new Lake Charles Panera Bread location officially opens Saturday morning but already they've decided they're going to give back to the community each and every day.
The franchise bakery, known for its fresh bread, also has another reputation – donating their leftover food.
Janine Moore, the General Manager at Panera Bread said, "At the end of close, they donate all the baked goods, all the breads, the pastries, cookies and leftover bagels."
It's a blessing to agencies like Faith Food and Friends – one of the recipients of the "End of Day" bread.
"This will be able to supply our families with food and bread products everyday," said Deborah Carter. The organization serves about 45 families a day, which equates to about 1,000 families a month in the Lake Charles area.
Christian World is the other recipient for the leftover food service, which began Friday morning.
Panera Bread also had a benefit on Friday, allowing patrons to sample menu items at $15 for two people. Those sales went to Second Harvest Food Bank.
Mary-Kay Rath, of Second Harvest Food Bank, said, "One in 6 people in Louisiana are at risk of going hungry every single day."
And with the current economy, they're now seeing a different clientele.
"We are seeing families who are working families who are not able to make ends meet. They're making the choice between food and utilities or food and medication," said Rath.
But Panera's "End of Day" bread donations will be able to help those families in need.