Panda Express is launching a $10 million community investment program with a $1.5 million pledge to Asian American & Pacific Islander groups, the company announced Wednesday.
Panda CommUnity Fund “supports immediate and sustainable solutions from national and local organizations to uplift diverse groups, including people of color and other marginalized communities,” according to the Rosemead-based Chinese fast-food chain.
The AAPI fund — launched during Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month — will continue to allocate resources across various initiatives over the next five years.
“We are proud of our multicultural heritage and have always believed that this identity connects us to the best of American culture. Because of the duality in who we are, Panda champions a greater sense of belonging and supports engagement efforts that reflect the diversity of our guests, associates and communities,” said Peggy Cherng, co-founder and co-CEO of Panda Express.
“Following a year of hardship and civil unrest, it has become more apparent that the responsibility is on each of us to come together to create meaningful change,” she said. “And that is why we are making the commitment to put forth the resources and platforms needed to continue energizing community organizations on the ground.”
Among the first groups receiving funding are Asian American Advancing Justice Chapters, GoFundMe.org AAPI Community Fund, Welcome to Chinatown and the Asian Mental Health Collective.
The fund will also support initiatives focused on education and empowerment through partner organizations, such as Gold House and The Asian American Foundation.