COLUMBUS, Ohio — In celebration of the launch of their new Grilled Breakfast Sandwich, Panera Bread will host a food drive at all Columbus, Dayton and Greater Cincinnati area bakery-cafes. The non-perishable breakfast food drive, which will benefit the Mid-Ohio FoodBank of Columbus, the FreestoreFoodbank of Cincinnati and The Foodbank of Dayton, will be held from August 8 to 17, 2008. Customers are encouraged to donate a non-perishable breakfast item at their local bakery-cafe before 10:30 a.m. in exchange for a free breakfast sandwich.

A special kick-off event will be held at the Grandview bakery-cafe in Columbus, the Calhoun bakery-cafe in Cincinnati and the Beavercreek bakery-cafe in Dayton on August 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Panera Bread executives and representatives from the local food banks will be delivering free samples of the new sandwich to customers and collecting donated breakfast items. Non-perishable breakfast items include cereal, breakfast bars, oatmeal, pancake mix, etc.

The new breakfast sandwich represents Panera’s fresh take on breakfast — a sandwich made by bakers, not microwaves. The new line of breakfast sandwiches are made fresh daily with a combination of an all-natural egg, Vermont white cheddar cheese, Applewood-smoked bacon or all-natural sausage, grilled between two slices of fresh-baked Ciabatta bread.

“Panera Bread understands the importance of supporting the communities it serves,” said Jeff Rains, President of the Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton-area Panera Bread bakery-cafes. “Hosting a food drive as part of the introduction of our new breakfast sandwich allows us to help the area food banks reach their goals of feeding hungry families, and it gives our customers the opportunity to try Panera’s fresh idea on breakfast.”

Breads of the World, LLC, the local franchisee of Panera Bread, operates 48 bakery-cafes in the Columbus, Cincinnati, northern Kentucky and Dayton-metro areas. With its identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, Panera Bread is committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. At the close of each day, Panera Bread bakery-cafes donate bread and baked goods to community organizations serving those in need. For more information on the franchise, including bakery-cafe locations, visit