GIVING: They bake what they donate! Community Loaves breadmakers visit West Seattle Food Bank

(WSB photos)

They came to the West Seattle Food Bank this morning with loaves of bread they’d baked themselves – unique donations for the food bank, which otherwise doesn’t accept homemade food. But this group is a special exception. They’re West Seattleites who are among the nearly 900 home bakers participating in Community Loaves, founded in 2020 by Katherine Kehrli, who joined them for today’s tour of the food bank.

WSFB’s executive director Fran Yeatts gave the visiting bread donors a behind-the-scenes look at food-bank operations. Monday is a prep day inside WSFB, not a distribution day for clients, so the bakers saw a whirlwind of activity – deliveries of “rescued” food donated by grocery stores and pet shops, sorting of a wide variety of donated items, packing of bags that will be taken to clients who can’t make it to the food bank’s 35th/Morgan HQ.

The delivery bags are usually how the Community Loaves bread gets to food bank clients – who otherwise might not get a chance to enjoy fresh whole-grain bread. Kehrli explains that since bread is “shelf-stable,” the bakers are not required to get special licenses to bake and donate their loaves. (7,000 provided to WSFB so far, and it’s just one of dozens with which Community Loaves partners!) She added that today’s visit was meant to help the bakers “understand how meaningful their work is.”

(That’s Community Loaves founder Katherine Kehrli behind the cart, in patterned jacket)

The food bank stats they heard were eye-popping – 1,500 households visiting the food bank each week, more than 400 home deliveries, 430 weekend food packs for students, 200+ people served by mobile food bank visits to locations including the Senior Center of West Seattle. (“We gotta bake more bread, guys!” somebody shouted to the group after hearing all that.) And of course, the food bank’s not just about food – they operate the Clothesline clothing bank and provide emergency rent (etc.) assistance that’s currently at a million-dollar-a-year pace to try to keep people out of homelessness (part of why WSFB especially appreciates monetary donations – they’d love to see you at the April 27 Instruments of Change fundraiser, too). Meantime, Community Loaves would be happy to see more home bakers participate.

If you’re interested, you can go here to sign up for an online information session coming up in early March.

13 Replies to "GIVING: They bake what they donate! Community Loaves breadmakers visit West Seattle Food Bank"

  • L February 26, 2024 (10:24 pm)

    Thank you so much for posting this and providing the information so people can get involved in supporting community. I’ve signed up for an info session and am looking forward to scaling up my weekly baking to include a few additional loaves to share. 

  • star 55 February 26, 2024 (11:16 pm)

    What a fantastic contribution to the community. I would love to see more news stories related to these fantastic people. Maybe Eric’s hero’s….l Fran???

  • Laura White February 27, 2024 (8:42 am)

    Bravo bread bakers for supporting our community with your loving and nutritious home baked loaves!

  • Elisabeth Fredericksen February 27, 2024 (10:38 am)

    After 33 years in WS, I retired and moved to Bellevue. I’ve been a baker with CL for almost 3 years. It’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. Happy to see such great participation in my old hometown!


  • KT February 27, 2024 (11:43 am)

    Thanks for sharing this.  I love to bake and this is a perfect opportunity to use that skill to benefit others.  I have signed up for an orientation.

    • K & L February 27, 2024 (6:30 pm)

      Thank you WSFB and Clothesline!

    • Dana Burns March 1, 2024 (5:05 pm)

      Great!  I just donated my 200th loaf.  It is a wonderful volunteer gig.

  • CorvidFan February 27, 2024 (12:14 pm)

    This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

  • ws February 27, 2024 (12:20 pm)

    I love this

  • just wondering February 27, 2024 (12:25 pm)

    I am not a bread maker but would like to help.  Do they take money donations?  

  • Cynthia Townsend March 2, 2024 (12:57 pm)

    I call this Love in Action! A caring gift in this world which too often can seem cold.

  • Jennifer Zhang March 3, 2024 (5:03 pm)

    Giving is loving, this is a love in action. Glad to see this happens. More than happy to see my sister there too. 

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