Slice it. Bag it. Feed the Hungry!
February 18, 2015 Matt Salis - Owner, Great Harvest Bread Co. of Denver
I am probably supposed to start this message by quoting statistics about the number of homeless people there are living in Denver, or about the overcrowding of shelters and the depletion of inventory in food pantries. That’s how a professional would start a call to action in an attempt to really get your attention. Even the title of this piece is a little mundane. The opening and the title are hardly the kind of shocking introduction to make your eyeballs pop or cause you to gasp in horror.
For us…you and me…residents of the great city of Denver, hunger and homelessness are not shocking or gasp inspiring. They are everyday facts of life. We see those suffering from these plights in our parks. We see them on most busy street corners. We see them linger outside of the Denver Rescue Mission or Denver Urban Ministries. We help when we can. We hope and pray when we think about it. We donate food and money as time and finances allow. Yet, hunger and homelessness persists as relentless challenges that our best efforts and those of our neighbors cannot overcome…try, give, and pray as we may.
Still, we are a hopeful community full of eager and enthusiastic doers of good. So we will continue to try. We try individually when we can. We try in groups and in organized manners when we have the chance. We try because we want to be on the side of the solution rather than the problem. We try because we value life and the basic necessities it takes to sustain it. Simply put, we try because we are good people trying to be the best people we can be.
Let’s try together. The Great Harvest Bread Co. of Denver and you can work side by side and try together. We will not eliminate hunger or homelessness in our community. But trying feels good, it is the right thing to do and some of our neighbors will have a little easier time for our efforts.
From time to time, at the Great Harvest Bread Co. of Denver, we bake the biggest batch we can bake of our best selling all natural, all nutritious and all delicious Honey Whole Wheat bread. We wait for it to cool, slice it, bag it and label it. Then we deliver it to an organization that will use it to feed the hungry. Sometimes it is a well know institution (like the ones listed above) that has been fighting hunger and homelessness in Denver for decades. Sometimes it is a church youth group that is heading to City Park to do some mission work. Good work, whether well organized and consistent or spur of the moment and a one time deal, is good work. We are honored to participate.
The time has come for us to move this bread baking, slicing, bagging and delivering mission from occasional to monthly. It is the right thing to do and we want to do it. This is where you come in. You are probably expecting us to hit you up for a financial contribution. Just as the introduction to this message was not shocking, our call to action is unexpectedly not of the financial nature. One of the barriers to us expanding this project is that it is time consuming for our little crew of hard working breadheads. We need volunteers to help us slice, bag, and deliver a big batch of roughly 70 loaves of bread. As mentioned, we want to do in monthly, so we need lots of people willing to help for a couple of hours just once or from time to time. No experience is needed. We don’t need help baking. We just need slicers and baggers and deliverers. There will be no background checks, no paperwork to complete and no pre-employment physicals. We won’t be issuing W2s or 1099s, and there are no tax breaks, interest or dividends being offered.
Frankly, you do not even need to be culinarily savvy, strong, athletic or nimble. We just need bodies. We need caring, compassionate bodies willing to help who want to feel good about spending a couple of hours taking a bite out of hunger in Denver. Pull together a small group of friends. Make it something you and your card playing or tea drinking or bible studying or bowling or beer drinking or poker playing or bird watching or bike riding group does together. We will teach you all you need to know. You just need to be able to find a little time to spare. You need to have a good attitude about our little mission. You must be willing to try.
Our next big batch of bread baking and bagging will take place at the end of this month. We will deliver the bounty to the food pantry at the University Church of Christ on South Milwaukee Street. We could use some help. If the end of this month does not work for you, we could use some help in March or April or whenever you have the time. If you are interested in helping, please reply to this message and let us know. We will jot down your information, and let you know when we can use your help. If you would like to suggest an organization or group to be the recipient of our monthly baking, we will gladly jot that down, too.
Even with your help, we are not going to end hunger and homelessness in Denver. However, doing something is better than nothing. Eating something is better than nothing. Just ask someone who is hungry. Thank you for your consideration, and thank you for your support of the Great Harvest Bread Co. of Denver.
To receive the BreadHead Blog via e-mail, please click here: BreadHead Blog
Great Harvest Bread Co.
765 South Colorado Boulevard
Denver, Colorado 80246
Open Mon. - Fri. 6am - 3pm
Sat. 8am - 3pm, Closed Sun.