In a gesture of goodwill, Panda Express and its co-founders are helping to buy personal protective equipment for medical workers with a $2 million donation as the coronavirus pandemic continues to prompt worldwide concerns.
South Pasadena’s Andrew and Peggy Cherng, who launched the highly successful restaurant chain 37 years ago, want to do their part to fight the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
On the Panda Express website reads: “In the midst of this public crisis, Panda remains committed to our mission of supporting the health and well-being of our communities more than ever. As the current COVID-19 situation continues to progress in the U.S., it is becoming more difficult for medical workers to obtain proper protective gear, making it increasingly hard to treat those in need in their communities.”
Panda Cares, the company’s philanthropic arm, created the COVID-19 Community Care Fund to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to select hospitals in need so they are best equipped to fight the virus.
“We are allocating the year-round Panda Cares donation box program to support our COVID-19 relief efforts,” reads a statement. “All guest donations made over the next four weeks (through April 18) will be put towards additional PPE, such as respirator masks, face shields, and gowns, to help other hospitals in highly affected areas. Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng will personally donate to the Community Care Fund.”
Panda Cares, with a matching grant from the Cherngs, has donated $2 million worth of surgical and respirator masks and gloves to protect patients and healthcare workers at hospitals in COVID-19 hotbeds, including Methodist Hospital of Southern California, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, City of Hope Duarte, Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.
The couple is asking customers to help contribute to the fund. As noted on its website, the restaurant chain is shifting its longstanding Panda Cares donation box program to support the new fund. Customer donations made through takeout and delivery orders will help buy equipment such as masks, face shields and gowns.
“We thank our guests for their generosity during this challenging time. And most of all, we thank the frontline healthcare workers and first responders, risking their lives every day for those in need. We will do everything in our ability, however big or small, to take care of our heroes. We are here for our community. And we are stronger when we stand together.”