NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. The community reach of Panera Bread ® bakery-café locations in central and northern New Jersey has resulted over the past four years in nearly $28,000 raised to support breast cancer programs at the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

The CINJ Foundation is one of the many entities nationwide that receive contributions from the sale of Panera’s Pink Ribbon Bagel, which is shaped in the form of a traditional breast cancer awareness ribbon and sold during October.  For every Pink Ribbon Bagel sold during this year’s campaign in the 37 Panera Bread locations in northern and central New Jersey, 25 cents was dedicated to CINJ to support breast cancer research and patient education programs. Proceeds this year were nearly $8,000.

“The Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign will continue to help CINJ’s physician-scientists in their efforts to develop cutting-edge breast cancer treatments, identify new prevention methods, and create educational tools to reach more men and women and their families,” said Deborah L. Toppmeyer, MD, director of CINJ’s Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center, and associate professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  “Some 6,800 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in New Jersey before the year is over.  Panera’s dedication to this cause will help improve the lives of so many, and we are truly grateful,” she added.

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“Panera Bread is devoted to serving the members of our local community, many of whom have had their lives touched by breast cancer,” said Panera Joint Venture Area Director Robert MacEachern.  “The Cancer Institute of New Jersey has been a long-time champion of this cause, and we are honored to join them in the fight.”

The Panera Pink Ribbon Bagel follows the tradition of “thinking pink” during the month of October in the quest to eradicate breast cancer. The idea for this signature product was developed in 2001 as a way to help support the cause. 

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life.  To make a tax-deductible gift to support CINJ, call 732-235-8614 or visit  the website of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

Panera Bread Co. owns and franchises 1,399 bakery-cafes as of June 29, 2010 under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.®, and Paradise Bakery & Café® names.  The company's bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on the company’s website.