Solidarity stories: bread communities working together for equal access to good food

Since launching our Solidarity Bag scheme in August 2020, Scotland The Bread customers’ generosity has seen 35 16kg bags of organic, heritage, wholegrain flour made available to community bakeries to support equitable access to nutritious bread and flour.

We devised the Solidarity Bag concept in response to the critical shortage of flour during the first Covid-19 lockdown, but the problem of affordable flour that supports both physical and environmental health is not one that dates back to March 2020. Affordability is an oft-cited barrier to swapping sliced white for slowly fermented sourdough, but we reject the idea that people on low incomes must be resigned to eating industrially produced ‘bread’ devoid of nutritional value. As Real Bread Week 2021 approaches (February 20 – 28) we’re hoping to make new flour connections that will allow more people to improve the quality of this staple food in their diet.

Wild Loaf sourdough alongside essential donations to local families

These bags are a shared act of solidarity between interlinked communities: our customers ‘pay it forward’ to support community bakeries, in turn working hard to ensure that their communities continue to have access to nutritious bread and flour at a price that they can afford.

To be a part of this solidarity network, you can either purchase a whole 16kg bag or a half bag from our online shop. Scotland The Bread will organise and pay for delivery of the flour, which is then distributed among community members by the bakeries either as flour or bread.

If you are part of a community bakery, organisation or project that could benefit from a free delivery of flour, please get in touch. If you would like to launch a community baking programme and need some inspiration, the stories below are a wonderful place to start.

The Wild Loaf, Everton, Liverpool

Emily Sandeman and Jess Doyle are currently baking bread as a regular donation to Everton nursery, whose staff distribute it directly to families along with other essential food and supplies. Everton in Liverpool has one of the highest child poverty rates in the UK and the loaves help support families that are struggling financially due to issues further compounded by the pandemic. Wild Loaf customers have been donating money when they order, which funds the purchase of food and other essential items requested by the nursery. These are then delivered with the freshly baked sourdough, collated and sorted by the amazing staff and keyworkers that work there before making its way to the families that they know need the most support.

Sandeman and Doyle say: ‘These bread deliveries have been incredibly well received. It is sad that stories of food poverty are far too common lately, we’re hoping for some drastic change when we begin to emerge from this crisis. We hope to keep learning how to be better bakers as part of an evolving food system that looks to provide solutions, not create more problems. The revolution is well under way!’

Sourcloud Bakes, Aberdeen
Claudio Leoni started his microbakery from home in March 2020, having worked as a head chef in Aberdeen. Having honed his sourdough skills and established his business, he will soon be working with local charities to supply bread for families and people in need. Donations of bread to the local food bank will support families and individuals who find themselves isolated by lockdown or are coping on a low income – a position that lockdown has forced many more people into. Leoni says: ‘I think bread is essential and no one should go without it!’

The Bakery, Tobermory
The Bakery on Tobermory High Street is currently gifting soup and sandwiches to Glen Iosal, the local supported living facility. Scotland The Bread solidarity flour is ensuring they can keep the community supplied with affordable slowly fermented sourdough: this supply is all the more valuable as they are the only bakery on the island.

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