Panera Bread Newport, located at 49 Long Wharf North, is doing its part to make the holidays brighter for local families by collecting toys for 10 children served by Children’s Friend based in Providence Rhode Island. The toys were collected by Panera employees and customers and delivered by Newport Panera Bread General Manager Danielle Natale and other volunteers on Tuesday, December 13. Eleven cafés owned and operated by Howley Bread Group, a franchisee of Panera Bread, participated in the drive, collecting gifts for 110 total families in need.
For the seventh consecutive year, Panera customers participated in the Holiday Gift Drive simply by going to their local Panera, selecting a gift tag from the display and then purchasing the wish-list gifts listed.  Each gift tag identifies a specific child, his/her age and a list of presents.  Those participating brought the gifts back to the respective cafes in a gift bag with the gift tag attached for delivery to Children’s Friend.  Participating cafes include: Cranston, East Greenwich, Lincoln, Newport, Providence, Smithfield, Wakefield and Warwick, and North Attleborough, Plainville and Seekonk, Massachusetts.

Howley Bread Group, LTD of Lincoln, Rhode Island, a franchisee of Panera Bread, owns and operates 29 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Eastern Connecticut. In 2015, Panera/Howley Bread Group’s cafes donated more than $5,700,000 in food and funds to a variety of community charities, including: The Bridge Family Center in West Hartford, Connecticut; Children’s Friend, Providence, Rhode Island; Connecticut Sports Foundation Against Cancer; Feeding America through local partners including Foodshare, the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center and Rhode Island Community Food Bank; B’s Mobility Ride for Muscular Dystrophy and Ryan’s Hope for a Cure Charitable Foundation. Additionally, gift card and food donations are made to local non-profit organizations through Panera/Howley Bread Group’s donations department and End-of-Day baked goods are donated to more than 80 churches and shelters across the franchisee’s bakery-cafe network.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).