As mounting numbers of Baltimore area residents face unemployment, financial hardships and loss of access to resources, H&S Bakery is partnering with a growing list of local charities and organizations to support and bolster relief efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Identifying and reaching out to charities that are providing free meals and groceries to community members in need, the Baltimore-based and family-owned bakery, which includes Schmidt Baking Company and Northeast Foods, is currently donating more than 20,000 loaves of bread per week to more than 20 organizations, churches and initiatives. Those groups include Moveable Feast, Meals on Wheels, Hungry Harvest, Salvation Army, Helping Up Mission, Baltimore Hunger Project, Living Classrooms, POWER House, Our Daily Bread, Baltimore County’s Grocery Drive-and-Go, Highland Food Pantry, The Transformation Center, 4MyCiTy Charity, Weekend Backpack, Uproar Care Inc. and more.
Charities accepting, preparing, and distributing meals and donated product range from ad-hoc startups, to local chapters of international organizations, to programs supported by Baltimore city and county.
Of note, 7-year-old Cavanaugh Bell of Gaithersburg started his charity Cool & Dope Corp. as a way to give back during the crisis. Bell utilized H&S Bakery’s bread and rolls to supply nearly 500 families to date with groceries via his community food pantry.
At the Breath of God Lutheran Church in the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore, staff are continuing to serve the area’s homeless population as well as an increasing number of working-class community members currently out of work with donations from H&S among various other food suppliers. A recent grocery drive In Owings Mills hosted by 4MyCiTy Charity drew a gathering of almost 900 cars and fed 1,400 families within the Latino community using H&S bread and other donated supplies.
In addition to partnerships with local charities, the bakery has extended its outreach to the medical community and first responders through various events and programs, including teaming up with the United Way of Central Maryland and other food suppliers to donate 30,000 bagels to health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
Further, H&S invites all medical personnel, police, fire and first responders to the bakery’s Fells Point Outlet store at 1616 Fleet St. to pick up two free loaves of bread on a daily basis through the pandemic. These workers are asked to show a valid ID or recent pay stub. The outlet store is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Recognizing that employee safety and well-being during this time is paramount, H&S has been actively implementing strategies to ensure a safe working environment for staff members including access to resources and the adoption of new technologies. The result has been strong employee attendance and morale in order to meet the increased demands from the relief effort and consumers alike.