NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — There’s a small bakery in Fairfax County that’s giving back in a big way, serving thousands of loaves of bread to community members in need.
The Great Harvest Bread Company has multiple locations throughout the county, all participating in the donations. Between all of the stores, the company donates between 200-300 loaves per week to food banks.
“Our mission statement is to give back to the community so we have always been giving bread to any organization that would ask for it,” said Ken Marter, Owner of the Herndon location.
The company had been donating bread for years, but the need hit harder during the pandemic.
That’s when the bakery partnered with the Fairfax County Health Department, to help deliver the bread to those who are COVID-19 positive.
The company donates to other groups across the Northern Virginia area that help with food insecurity, but the good deed couldn’t be made possible without donations from their customers.
“The donations that our customers give are in the form of cash donations for Food for Neighbors so that they can buy other things other than just having bread to give the kids over the weekend,” said Marter.
The bakery also relies on its partnerships to help deliver the bread. CEO of Northern Virginia Food Rescue Aaron Tolson and Food Acquisition Director Rebecca Gates have been purchasing 200 loaves per week, saying the bread from the store is made with fresh ingredients to have a longer shelf life.
“It’s probably the best bread that we have gotten through in the warehouse, absolutely always fresh, smelled fantastic, we were sending it to about five or six food pantries every week,” said Gates.
“Here in Prince William County, we have seen a 345% increase in food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Businesses like Great Harvest who have stepped up to the plate and said, ‘No, we want to make this a priority, we want to help our community,’ it has been fantastic,” said Tolson.
Great Harvest Bread Co. has donated their bread to an estimated 40 to 50 food banks.