Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Community Loaves aids food bank

Staff Writer | November 26, 2021 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Soon clients of the Bonner Community Food Bank could receive a loaf of fresh baked bread.

The effort is being coordinated by Ann Neal, the Sandpoint hub coordinator for Community Loaves, an organization of home bakers who bake fresh, nutritious bread for the food banks and food pantries. The Idaho bakers use organic flour grown and milled in Idaho, said Neal. Supporting the local community, in any way possible, is a treasured value of Community Loaves.

Generally, Neal said that food banks do not get a lot of bread donated. Bread is ideal for donations due to it’s long shelf life. She said this was a good and practical way for bakers — new and experisted to come together and give back to their communities.

Community Loaves got its start during the pandemic in Seattle and has grown to having hubs of bakers in Oregon and Idaho as well. The only two Idaho hubs are in Boise, but the Sandpoint hub will bring a third site to the state, Neal said.

Neal is spearheading the organization and is actively recruiting volunteer bakers in Sandpoint

“I'm sure there are many bakers in Sandpoint that would love to be involved themselves in such giving and loving work,” she said.

Community Loaves has partnered with Debbie Love, executive director of the food bank, to make this happen. The first donation of Community Loaves took place Monday but since Neal is the only baker in Sandpoint participating so far, only four loaves were donated.

She said that there are two other bakers interested in taking part, but said all interested are invited to join the effort. For consistency the Community Loaves use the same recipe, a honey oat sandwich loaf.

Neal said that Sandpoint with its giving spirit is the perfect place for Community Loaves to take off. She said this organization is perfect for anyone that loves to bake, wants to learn and wants to give back to the community.

Since April 2020 Community Loaves have partnered with 28 food banks, had 57 hubs, and 907 volunteers. 50,536 loaves were donated, Community Loaves said that is enough for 264,341 sandwiches.

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