BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – It's a cookie for a cause. The blue and white shortbread cookie featuring a puzzle piece at its center was created to spread autism awareness. A few dozen made their way to our Local 10 studios Monday for all to enjoy and share the message.
From now until April 14, you can buy "Pieces of Hope for Autism" cookies at all Covelli-owned Panera Bread franchises.
The special offer coincides with World Autism Awareness month. All proceeds will be donated to The Dan Marino Foundation, a nonprofit founded by legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino and his wife, Claire, to empower individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.
"We're proud to once again partner with Covelli Enterprises - Panera Bread for the 9th year," said Dan Marino, Chairman of The Dan Marino Foundation. "Our Foundation appreciates their leadership in showing acceptance and their generosity in giving back to the autism community. Every cookie purchased makes a difference. The 'Pieces of Hope for Autism' cookies are the best, just like the Panera Bread team that bakes them."
"The 'Pieces of Hope for Autism' campaign is our largest company-wide initiative that we host every year," said Sam Covelli, owner and operator of Covelli Enterprises. "It involves more than 215 participating Panera locations in eight states and the hard work of more than 450 bakers to create these special, life-changing cookies."
In addition to the one-week cookie campaign, Panera Bread will be collecting funds in all 31 bakery-café locations through their Operation Doughnation boxes located next to the registers at each café.
Operation Doughnation boxes will give Panera Bread customers an opportunity to further support The Dan Marino Foundation every time they visit a location across Broward and Palm Beach counties now through May 31.
Panera Bread is encouraging "Pieces of Hope" campaign supporters to share photos of their cookies on social media using #everycookiecounts. Cookies may be pre-ordered online at www.covelli.com/autism.