While man might not be able to live on bread alone, a slice from a fresh-baked loaf can certainly be comforting, not to mention delicious. In Washington and Oregon, a grassroots community is bringing home bakers together to provide homemade bread to local food pantries.
In April 2020, when many people started trying their hands at baking bread while at home on lockdown, the small group of bakers that started Community Loaves donated 19 loaves to their neighborhood food bank. By the end of the year, the group had grown to 48 volunteers — including packers, drivers and tech gurus along with at-home bakers — who had delivered more than 8,300 loaves of bread to five food pantries in the region.
The group has set even loftier goals for 2021, hoping to donate 30,000 loaves in even more parts of the country, as noted in a recent Facebook post.
“Community Loaves is on a mission to end hunger one loaf at a time,” the organization posted. “Our growing network of volunteer bakers donated 8344 loaves in 2020 and we’re looking to double that in 2021! We’re currently ‘live’ in Seattle and Portland and [are] getting ready to help markets across the country deliver a massive bread hug to their local food pantries. The need is great, our ability to help is greater! 482 volunteers and growing!”
Community Loaves is on a mission to end hunger one loaf at a time. Our growing network of volunteer bakers donated 8344…
Volunteer bakers In Washington or Oregon who wish to get involved can attend an hour-long information session. They learn everything they need to know to bake one of the group’s three signature formulas to make loaves of honey oat sandwich bread. The ingredients for each process are the same, but bakers can pick the method they are most comfortable with. Each formula makes four loaves of bread, and Community Loves encourages bakers to donate three and keep one for themselves.
Live in the area but don’t bake? Community Loaves also needs volunteers for administrative tasks, transporting bread and more.
While the organization is currently only operating in the Pacific Northwest, Community Loaves is hoping volunteers will start hubs in other areas to expand the group’s reach. They are currently providing new market info sessions via their website.
Meanwhile, more communities are joining their ranks in their home states of Washington and Oregon:
Bellingham Food Bank received their first donation of freshly baked Community Loaves thanks to the leadership efforts of…
Katherine Kehrli, who leads the organization, is moved by the strides they have made.
“(This project) has restored my faith in the collective good that we can actually do,” Kehrli told “Today.” “And it restores my faith that we can be more self-determined even in the face of the pandemic.”