It’s common for food pantries to receive cans of shelf stable foods, jars of sauces that can last for months and fresh produce. But something that is often missing is fresh baked bread, Pennie Schwartz said, chair for Slow Food East End.
“Home-baked bread nourishes the belly and the soul,” she added. After hearing about a program in Seattle called Community Loaves, Schwartz decided she could replicate it here on the East End.
“They started during lockdown when they realized food pantries were filled with stable foods and some produce,” she said. “But the one thing missing that gives people such a warm feeling on the inside was home baked bread.”
This new initiative, cleverly named Flour Power, uses volunteers from the community to bake bread in their homes that is then donated to the food pantry at North Fork Spanish Apostolate in Riverhead. “We have a lot of people on the East End who could put their hands in dough and make something that expresses their heart, their love to give to someone,” Schwartz said.
The first donation, which happened last week, had twelve freshly baked bread loaves donated. The next donation, which goes to the food pantry on Monday, already has doubled in size. For volunteers interested in participating, fill out the form on the SFEE website and all the necessary information will be sent to you. There’s a recipe from a SFEE board member who used to be a pro breadmaker and a video to walk you through the recipe.
Volunteers are responsible for getting the ingredients, doing the baking and delivering their loaves to local businesses in the area who act as drop off points. From there, SFEE picks all the loaves up and brings them right to North Fork Spanish Apostolate.
Donations are set to happen every other Tuesday. “Our recipe is the four loaves, and what we want people to do is keep one for themselves and donate three,” Schwartz said.