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Making bread together helps the New Brunswick community tackle hunger and build friendships

The Fredericton Food Bank coordinates Bread Mondays, a community program aimed at helping individuals in need in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Situated at the heart of Greener Village, the Fredericton Food Bank has been an integral pillar of the community since its establishment in 1983. Initially founded as “The Fredericton Food Bank,” it stood as a pioneering force in addressing food insecurity within the Greater Fredericton Area. The organization, in alignment with its unwavering dedication to combating hunger and serving the local community, dutifully distributes food on a monthly basis to over 1900 client families either directly or through collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders.

Amidst the challenging backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greener Village CEO Alex Boyd conceived a visionary initiative – the provision of baking classes to the community. The team ingeniously recorded a bread-making session, sharing it on Facebook as a means to enhance the community’s connection with food. In January, Greener Village introduced the “Share the Loaf” program, an expansion of its pre-existing endeavor designed to empower individuals to craft homemade bread every Monday, with the primary objective of benefiting local food bank clients.

The Greener Village Food Bank in Fredericton extends a warm invitation to one and all, encouraging participation in the homemade bread-making sessions. These weekly Bread Mondays not only serve as an educational platform but also foster social cohesion, drawing approximately 10 volunteers to convene around a table adorned with flour. Under the skilled guidance of Yves Dechaine, the food bank’s esteemed chef and kitchen manager, volunteers acquire fundamental bread-making skills, utilizing a recipe passed down through generations, inspired by Dechaine’s grandmother. On each Monday, this dedicated team collectively produces an impressive quantity of about 200 loaves of bread, with the added bonus of each volunteer taking home a freshly baked, golden-brown loaf.

Driven by the resounding success and enthusiastic response, Greener Village has expanded its program to encompass two bread-baking sessions every Monday, along with an additional class held on Tuesday evenings. This concerted effort has resulted in the monthly production of more than 800 loaves of bread, while the organization remains steadfast in its ambition to distribute a staggering 10,000 loaves this year, up from approximately 5,000 the previous year. Furthermore, community members are encouraged to contribute by generously donating flour and yeast to support the noble cause of Bread Mondays.

For a number of folks in New Brunswick, making bread together has become a social exercise and reminds them of the good old days as kids when their parents or grandparents would make fresh bread in the house.

Source: Washington Post