When I heard that our neighborhood Food Pantry client list increased by 50 families, I knew something had to be done. It was Thanksgiving time, a holiday for which we should be thankful for giving. So I reached out to the members of the Cooking with Friends Club and asked them to combine forces and bake bread together for neighbors in need. Although our community of friends always pulls through with amazing quantities of homemade soups and breads for CWFC charity events, something amazing happened this time.
The inspiration to give in this homemade and heartfelt way spread like a virus. From my CSA and my children’s school, to other Montclair organizations — Montclair Kids (http://www.montclairkids.com/), Kids in Action, Take Back the Kitchen (http://www.takebackthekitchen.blogspot.com/), Suzy Said (http://www.suzysaid.com/) — to communities outside of New Jersey as well, from Arizona to Denver, people came together as extensions of the CWFC community.
The stories of cooking together for this event poured in from around the country as people were actually thanking me for providing them with a new and meaningful way to give. Many used it as a chance to enlighten one another and their children about the very urgent needs present in their own communities.
Ladies baked together instead of having lunch; 11-year old boys baked as an after school activity; moms in playgroups mixed and poured while toddlers played; and others made it a family weekend event with their kids. People worked in so many beautiful ways.
Those who participated in the Thanksgiving Bread Baking Event found that baking together for charity was an activity that excluded no one. The process of mixing and kneading became a time when friends and family could bond. And while the sweet aromas of quick breads filled kitchens around town, friends and family reflected on why we were giving.
I am thankful for this wonderful way to give and for the people who recognized the power of the process of cooking and baking together.