Bakery CEO Goes Hungry For One Week To Generate Poverty Awareness

Bakery CEO Goes Hungry For One Week To Generate Poverty Awareness

CEO Ron Shaich is experiencing what it’s like to live life like many in poverty, spending $4.50 on food daily.

Daniela Walker
  • 23 september 2013

Panera CEO Ron Schaich has spent the week with his stomach rumbling. Instead of feasting, as you’d imagine a chief executive might, Schaich has budgeted a measly $4.50 a day to feed himself. This is the amount that low-income families receive from the governmental Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Schaich wanted to experience what it is like to live on food stamps to bring awareness about the hunger issues in America.

Schaich’s campaign saw him buy a week’s worth of groceries for $31.50 and blog about it daily on LinkedIn – all as part of September’s Hunger Action Month and  in response to the debate about cutting funding to SNAP (which has been approved in the house). On his food stamp budget, Schaich couldn’t even afford a Panera sandwich, rather he subsisted on dry cereals, chickpeas and a lot more carbs than he is used to.  Of his experience, Schaich writes:

The truth is that one week isn’t nearly sufficient to truly feel the pain of hunger. It has worn me down and, yes, I’m beyond bored with lentil soup and my Cheerios knockoff. But really, it’s not the fleeting sense of hunger that I’ll take away from the SNAP Challenge; rather, it is the understanding of just how much food dominates your life when it’s not readily available. Indeed, for those facing food insecurity, food quickly becomes a constant source of worry – and even a source of shame – when its availability is in question.

Schaich, who founded Panera, is no stranger to addressing hunger issues, opening five Panera eateries in low-income areas that have a pay-what-you-can policy.



Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Sustainability Today

Modern Home Created Entirely Out Of Modular Shipping Crates

A project in Ecuador used the ubiquitous material to design a spacious and industrial-chic house

Retail Today

Retail Concept Offers Food Hall Inspired Space For Online Brands

The store will offer a lower cost way for internet entrepreneurs to try physical retailing


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Advertising Today

Disney Retells Beauty And The Beast On Snapchat

In a partnership with LACMA, the entertainment platform drew from over 130,000 works in the museum's collection

Technology Today

Honda Has 3D Printed A Fully Electric Minivan

The car manufacturer partnered with product developer Kabuku to create the small versatile vehicles

Innovation Yesterday

After The Initial Success Of AR Gaming, What Does The Future Hold?

With Pokemon GO earning up to $10m a day, R&D departments are busy searching for the next phase

Arts & Culture Yesterday

The Next Great Art Movement Will Come At The Swipe Of A Finger

An improved app, optimized digital display and monthly art discovery service round out Electric Objects' renewed commitment to democratizing the art world

Media & Publishing Yesterday

A TV Streaming Service Is Designed Just For Kids

Toca TV is a new platform offering thousands of original and curated children's videos for a monthly subscription fee


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Marketing Experts: Millennials And The Power Of Cool

'Good Is The New Cool' Authors Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones share their 7 principles for branding with a social impact

PSFK Labs Yesterday

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Travel Yesterday

Bus Stop Transformed Into A Fitness Station For Commuters

Sports drink company Lucozade live-streamed an athletic trainer working out at a stop in Manchester to encourage travelers to get moving

Beauty Yesterday

Shiseido And Microsoft Have Created A Makeup Filter For Women Who Telecommute

The Japanese cosmetic company built an augmented reality app that works alongside Skype for Business

Mobile Yesterday

Samsung Is Using AR To Help Beachgoers Stay Safe

Pocket Patrol utilizes a phone's camera to promote beach safety and educate people about hidden hazards

Design & Architecture Yesterday

500 Plastic Chairs Used To Create A Recyclable Pavilion

Design agency CODA built a grandoise art piece from simple lawn furniture

Retail Yesterday

Exchange Your Old Razors For New Ones At This Bartershop

The subscription-based shaving company lets customers trade their unwanted razors for Harry's brand steel at a temporary New York pop-up

Food Yesterday

A Brewer Has Created The Most Expensive Chips To Snack On

St. Eriks Brewery created crisps made from rare mushrooms to go with its artisan beer, donating all proceeds to charity

Travel Yesterday

Melbourne Hotel Lets Guests Stay In Their Own Chrome Airstream Trailers

Notel is a luxury rooftop with six guest rooms made from vintage 1970s mobile homes

Infants Yesterday

Battery Powered Cradle Will Rock Itself

NoomiNoomi is a clever device that makes it easier to put babies to sleep

No search results found.