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CommUnity Fund

As a celebration of our immigrant founding and the multicultural fabric of America, we have created the Panda CommUnity Fund—a $10 million pledge to foster understanding, unity and belonging in our communities.

Co-CEOs Peggy and Andrew Cherng and Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng visiting the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC

Peggy Cherng, Chef Ming Tsai Cherng ‘YeYe,’ and Andrew Cherng visiting the Lincoln Memorial

Inspired by the leaders who built this family business, our Chief Brand Officer Andrea Cherng honors her grandfather’s legacy, inviting all to come to the table to hear, appreciate and uplift the stories of others.

Andrea Cherng

By Andrea Cherng

Chief Brand Officer, Panda Express

An Invitation:
To Love the People as You Love the Food

My grandfather, my YeYe, was a man big and solid in stature and gentle and kind in spirit. He was often found with a grandchild on each knee and had a penchant for cigarettes to his son’s dismay. In his kitchen, he would notice a new busboy standing on the fringes and would call out, “DiDi,” meaning little brother in Mandarin, to include him in a staff meal. After long days in his restaurant kitchen in California, he would gather with fellow Chinese restaurant brethren, smoking and playing mahjong into the early hours of the morning. And yet, he would be the first to arrive at the restaurant each and every morning to clean and open up his kitchen.

There is danger right now for those like my YeYe who have an inescapable appearance of foreignness. Images flood our minds of their pummeled bodies on our city streets. After a year of pandemic-wrecked losses, a tide of fear and anger has risen up and needs someone to blame. People like my YeYe, with their markedly foreign eyes, must be to blame for all of the pain. And yet the food from kitchens like his, born of the same foreign origin, has found acceptance and even appreciation here. My question today is, would the man himself, the mahjong-playing and grandchild-spoiling chef, ever find belonging here?

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Our Actions

Now is the time for every voice to come together to create meaningful change. Our Panda CommUnity Fund is a $10 million community investment and response program that supports immediate and sustainable solutions over the next five years to uplift diverse groups and marginalized communities.

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$10 Million

Pledge to diversity,
equity & inclusion
over the next 5 years

Our Partners

In the first phase of grant-giving in 2021, we are expanding our continual commitment to supporting the AAPI community. We have donated $1.5 million of the Panda CommUnity Fund to AAPI organizations, aiming to provide critical aid and promote cultural understanding to foster a more inclusive society.

Our Story

An American
Chinese Story

Over nearly 40 years, Panda Express has grown from one family-owned restaurant to over 2,200 all over the world. Lessons learned and good fortune shared have fueled our growth. Values instilled will become our most lasting legacy. This is our story.

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