ST. CLOUD, MINN. — Pan-O-Gold Baking Co. said it donated more than 1.5 million loaves of bread to food banks in the Midwest in 2013, with 775,000 loaves going to Second Harvest Heartland.

“We knew there was a growing need in our communities, and it was something we took very seriously,” said Jimmy Hanson, vice-president of sales for the Minneapolis area for Pan-O-Gold. “Our company has been blessed, and giving back to the community was something we wanted to do.”

Pan-O-Gold Baking said the donation is part of the company’s larger initiative to remain “a socially responsible organization.” The company accomplishes this through plants partially powered by solar and wind energy, biodegradable and recyclable packaging, repurposing heat from baking ovens, and numerous other green initiatives.

Pan-O-Gold Baking produces, markets and distributes a variety of bread, buns and baked goods, including Country Hearth and Village Hearth brands as well as private label and co-packed products.