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Communities In Schools ® (CIS) Receives $1M Charitable Donation from Philanthropic Arm of Panda Express®

Sept. 29, 2020

Communities In Schools® (CIS), the national organization that empowers all students to achieve in school and stay on a path to a brighter future, today announced a new charitable partnership with Panda Cares® , the philanthropic arm of Panda Express®, to help meet the health, social-emotional and education needs of underserved youth in the CIS network.

As part of the partnership, Panda Cares has made a $1M charitable donation to CIS. Grants will be allocated to CIS affiliates across six states – California, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, and Washington – to support the academic, physical, and social-emotional needs of elementary and middle school students.

“Students have had their learning, their lives and the livelihoods of their families disrupted,” said Communities In Schools President & CEO Rey Saldaña. “When they return to school this fall – whether in person or virtually, they will have greater needs and require more intensive supports to become reengaged in learning. This generous donation will help our affiliates provide students and their families with basic needs like food, clothing, medical assistance and learning technologies. It will also support the work of our site coordinators as they help students deal with increased feelings of emotional trauma caused by the pandemic and the national debate over systemic racism in our country.”

“We believe it is important to uplift the students in their learning journey and work together to create a sense of belonging and inclusivity in their learning environments, especially during this challenging time. The children are our future, and we are proud to partner with Communities In Schools to support the leaders of tomorrow,” said Dr. Peggy Cherng, Co-Founder and CO-CEO of Panda Express.

CIS affiliates participating in the charitable partnership include:


CIS of Bay Area 

CIS of Chicago 

CIS of El Paso 

CIS of Federal Way 

CIS of Catoosa County

CIS of Atlanta

CIS of Heart of Texas 

CIS of Los Angeles

CIS of North Texas 

CIS of Renton 

CIS of Southern NV

CIS of Spokane 

CIS of Western NV 

To connect to a local Communities In Schools affiliate, visit


About Panda Express®

On a mission to inspire better lives, American Chinese trailblazer Panda Express is the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S. Family-owned and operated since 1983 by co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Panda Express is best known for creating a wide variety of industry-first recipes, including its best seller the Original Orange Chicken® and award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp, which have defined the category of authentic American Chinese cuisine. Each dish at Panda Express, including the Wok Smart® selections, is thoughtfully crafted with quality ingredients and inspired by bold Chinese flavors and culinary principles. The restaurant brand has more than 2,200 locations throughout the U.S. and has introduced American Chinese cuisine to more than ten international countries. Powered by this global family of associates, Panda Cares, the organization's philanthropic arm, has raised more than $196 million and countless volunteer hours in bettering the health and education for over 12 million youths as well as supporting communities in need since 1999. In 2020, Panda established the Panda Cares Scholars Program to provide the necessary funding, academic support and leadership development to help high school and college students learn, lead and thrive towards a bright future. For more information about Panda, visit, or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 


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