Wednesday, October 10, 2012
This has been in my drafts since June, but the Panera on the Corner of Diversey and Broadway (right next to Walgreens) has changed into a Panera Cares. It's basically the same restaurant, same food, but instead of cash registers, they have donation boxes. So you can pay what you can to eat. I learned about it when I was still a northsider. The model addresses a ton of things:
Hunger, Homelessness, Job Training, Community Service and Giving.
If you frequent Panera like I do, you know that there are always a ton of homeless people in there. And most people are just trying to get out of the cold and get something to eat. This Panera Cares concepts allows them to do just that, but it doesn't isolate them. Instead people who can afford to pay more, do. And people who can't afford to pay much, pay what they can. It's basically how government would operate if everyone was a good person. I digress.
What's also awesome, is that Panera Cares is using the space to do job training for the unemployed.
I love this concept. Kudos to Panera and the legislators in the area that made it happen.