Neighbor Loaves Program Aims to Maintain Regional Grain Value Chains and Feed the Community
Keywords:COVID-19, Pandemic, Bakeries, Local Grain, Food Security, Food Pantries
In the surreality of March 2020, as states closed the doors on business, my colleague Alyssa Hartman had a great idea. Watching businesses struggle, she wondered what she could do as a non-essential worker to help farmers and bakers. We set up a time to chat.
Alyssa is executive director of the Artisan Grain Collaborative (AGC), a group of individuals and organizations working to strengthen and promote the diversity of grains on the landscape in the Upper Midwest. She and I brainstorm on the phone a lot, thinking about actions to help create awareness of grains and rebuild regional grain networks. But when we spoke—as the pandemic began to change everyday life—I didn’t need to think hard about strategy. I just listened and said YES.
She described a plan to ask consumers to purchase loaves of bread that bakers would make for food pantries. These particular loaves would be made from regional flour, and customers would pay full price for them, which would help bakeries meet expenses. I loved the idea immediately. . . .
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