When the pandemic hit and lockdown was ordered, we at Loaf were very aware that, as a workers co-operative, we have a responsibility to our community as much as ourselves. Once we had ensured our business could ride out lockdown we looked into ways we could support those groups and organisations working to combat food poverty.
The simplest solution was to proactively bake more bread, and Loaf’s bakers volunteered their time to run a special bake shift on Mondays. Over lockdown we supplied bread to B30 Food Bank, BrumTogether, Birmingham Solidarity Kitchen, the Spearhead Trust, and the primary schools in our community who were helping feed families in need.
Given we couldn’t be sure how the pandemic would affect Loaf’s income, we placed a donation button on our online shop, inviting our customers to help. The idea being we provide the labour and they cover the cost of flour and electricity for that shift.
Between May and August we distributed roughly 1,500 loaves to food poverty groups in Birmingham. But we also raised far more money than we needed, leaving a surplus of £3,750. We contacted the B30 Food Bank for advice on what to do with this money and they suggested a cash donation. Their costs have soared this year and a lump sum would really help.
As demand has lessened, Loaf have paused the volunteer bakes for now, though we still donate any unsold bread to the Food Bank. Food poverty remains something we want to help combat and we are actively looking for long-term ways to do so. Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org if we can work with you.