In 2017, Dorothy Huey asked the person behind the counter at a local bakery what they do with their bread at the end of the day. The person said any leftovers are thrown out.
“I know bakeries can only put out fresh bread each day, but I didn’t realize the bread that wasn’t sold was being thrown in the garbage,” Dorothy said. “I knew there must be a way to get this bread to people who need it.”
At that point, Dorothy was a member of the Rotary Club of Nutley and had been volunteering at Nutley Family Service Bureau (NFSB) for a couple years. She had helped with the NFSB Scouting for Food Drive and would assist when needed with food distributions at The Pantry, so food insecurity was always an important issue for her. In fact, Dorothy first called NFSB to find out how she could donate a turkey for Thanksgiving.
She spoke with NFSB about visiting local bakeries to see if they would be interested in donating bread and soon Dorothy started making her rounds.
Local Nutley bakeries started donating bread for NFSB food distributions in April of 2018 and have been doing so ever since.
“Bakery bread is a treat,” Dorothy said. “Many people think nothing of going to the bakery though. For the people who come to our food distributions, they might not have these baguettes, loaves, and rolls if they couldn’t get them from us.”
Today, Dorothy and fellow volunteers Karen Wallace and JoAnn Scarpelli visit three Nutley bakeries each week to collect leftover bread and other baked goods, such as pastries, croissants, and cookies.
The Nutley bakeries currently donating bread for distribution are:
“The bakeries are extremely generous, often donating large bags filled with bread” Said NFSB Pantry and Shop Manager Peg Conca. “In addition to food distributions every other week, NFSB is delivering bread to the Senior Center every week. We are so grateful to our participating Nutley Bakeries and our amazing “Bread” volunteers.”
“The seniors were really excited to start receiving bakery bread, and they always love the treats when they’re available,” Dorothy said. “The bakeries are happy these items aren’t going to waste and thrilled to help people in their own community who otherwise might not have bread to eat.”
NFSB Executive Director Katherine Carmichael appreciates volunteers like Dorothy who saw a community need and took the initiative to propose and help implement a volunteer project to meet the need. Katherine encourages other community members with ideas for volunteer initiatives to share them with NFSB “We are always looking for more ways to help the Nutley community as well as new partnerships. We welcome your help and creative ideas. Working together we can better serve the community.”
If you have a bakery, restaurant, catering company, or other food establishment and would like to find out how to donate food to those in the Nutley community who are food insecure, please call The Pantry at NFSB at 973-542-8276.