Someone Cares: Baking a Difference

Her project donates freshly baked bread to food pantries and created bonds with loved ones through the pandemic.

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Posted in , Jul 22, 2021

An illustration of a woman with three loaves of bread; Illustration by Coco Masuda

Since the pandemic, more people than ever have visited food banks. When I heard that food pantries here in western Washington were struggling to meet the increased demand, I wanted to help. I love to bake and, several years ago, started a community group for serious home bakers. With the pandemic, all of our in-person events had to be canceled. I got the idea to found Community Loaves, a group of home bakers that donates freshly baked bread to food pantries in Washington and Oregon.

We developed a recipe for honey oat bread, which uses locally sourced flour. Each batch produces four loaves; volunteer bakers keep one and donate the other three. Our program has now grown to more than 800 volunteers, and we aim to donate 35,000 loaves this year.

I love hearing stories from volunteers who have bonded with loved ones through baking bread for our project. I had a similar experience with my grandmother before she passed away last August at age 105. It’s truly a win-win. To get involved, visit communityloaves.org.

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