Welcome to our new blog | This page is still under construction; check out our most recent posts!

$13 Million Raised and 7,921 Meals Delivered: What It Means to Be a Panda Express Employee Championing Classrooms through DonorsChoose

We asked our friends from Panda why supporting teachers and students through their job matters to them


Making friends is best done over a good meal, and the folks at Panda Express are no strangers to befriending teachers! Just as the educators on DonorsChoose go above and beyond for their students, the employees of Panda Express go above and beyond for DonorsChoose teachers. From inspiring customer donations for neighborhood schools to delivering meals to the closest teachers’ lounge, that community connection runs deep.

Panda Express associates have been celebrating DonorsChoose teachers since 2021

On DonorsChoose, public school educators across the country create projects requesting the resources and materials their students need to learn, and funders give any amount to support the projects that inspire them. Since our founding in 2000, teachers at 89% of public schools in the country have used our platform to request what their students need to thrive, and our network of generous education supporters has brought nearly 3 million projects to life.

For the past four years, Panda Express and their philanthropic arm, Panda Cares, have teamed up with DonorsChoose for the Panda Cares for Our Schools program. Panda associates inspire a herculean amount of funding — since 2021, more than $13 million has gone to support thousands of teachers across the country. In addition to this year round fundraising, Panda Express associates and managers forge deep relationships with nearby schools by delivering meals for teachers every Teacher Appreciation Week.

We wanted to find out exactly what keeps Panda associates and managers so motivated to give back so much to their communities. Spoiler — it’s all in the heart.

Making a difference in their local communities

We all like to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and participating in Panda Cares for Our Teachers gives employees the chance to give back in a tangible, meaningful way.

Adrian, a general manager from Sherman, TX, shared the bonds she loves to build: “I always have a huge respect for teachers... My favorite part of doing Panda Cares for Our Teachers is I get to know our local teachers. I also get to visit and tour their faculty area. I look forward to doing this again!”

Bringing joy to hardworking neighbors 

Acts of kindness and giving can have a big impact — on others’ happiness and our own! Susan from Apopka, FL told us how the opportunity to nourish dedicated teachers makes her feel.

Susan went on to say, “Teachers that are underpaid and work really hard preparing our future leaders deserve to be pampered every now and then. The Panda Express value of giving is something that most companies do not provide to the community. I’ve loved this company from day one and will continue to serve and produce great results as part of giving back to everything that they do for all.” 

Honoring the teachers who got us where we are

Panda Restaurant Group founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng have long advocated for and believed in giving back to public schools as a way to show gratitude for the education they received that allowed them to build such an impactful company. This same gratitude flows throughout the Panda culture, with store employees reflecting similar sentiments. 

“Mr. Greene used to be my ELD teacher back when I was a freshman in High School. At the time, I had just moved here in the U.S. and barely knew English. He was very welcoming and made me feel comfortable in speaking English to a point I was even a part of a skit for Anti-Bullying Club. He was one of the people that helped me bring back the confidence in me. Until now, we still keep in touch.” —Mikaela, General Manager, San Jose, CA

“My favorite teacher growing up was Mr. Myers. He was also my chess coach and mentor growing up in high school. He had a way to get me to open up to him and break me out of my shell and show me that people can care unconditionally and want to see other's possibilities come true.” —John, General Manager, College Station, TX

We’re so grateful for the incredible support of Panda associates and customers, and are so inspired to see the community connections built through this partnership.

Browse Popular Topics

Looking for something specific?

Search the Blog

See posts for: