Brad Choat

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Operation Food Search is celebrating its largest gift of cash so far this year.

The St. Louis based charity received $107,000 on Saturday from the Panera Bread Foundation.

The pantry’s executive director, Sunny Schaefer, says some of it will be spent on nutrition education, “This program teaches low-income adults and children the basics of healthy eating, cooking skills, and food budgeting.”

Schaefer says the donation also will be used to buy products for Operation Food Search’s backpack program, “Every Friday we’re providing 4,000 children backpacks full of food to tide them over for the weekend, because many of these kids go home to little if any food in their houses.”

Panera Bread regional vice president Don Hutcheson says this year’s gift brings the company’s total to more than a million for the pantry since 1992, “This is a joint donation from our customers that actually leave behind small donations at each of our bakery-cafes in the St. Louis area, with Panera Bread contributing a match.”

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