The pandemic greatly affected families, more than we ever could have imagined. When the schools were shut down in March 2020, children were no longer able to receive daily breakfasts, snacks, and lunches at their schools. Because the pandemic has affected jobs and livelihoods, many families found they had less income, but higher food expenses.

Baltimore Hunger Project went from serving 650 children to serving more than 2,300 children and their families within a matter of mere weeks. When I reached out to Chuck Paterakis and H & S Bakery about the jump in demand, he immediately offered to help. No questions asked. The H & S team have donated upwards of 2,000 fresh loaves of bread each week for the last year. Without the incredible support from H & S Bakery, continuing to operate in an impactful way during the pandemic would have been very difficult. Because of their support and partners like them, we could continue our life-changing mission of helping families and fighting against childhood hunger.

Sometimes we tend to think of certain sandwiches—like baloney, PBJ, or tuna fish—with a feeling of nostalgia. Yet, these sandwiches are way more than that. Because sandwiches are nutritious, delicious, and easy to assemble, bread is a primary staple for BHP families. A good sandwich on fresh bread brings a smile every time. We are so grateful that H & S Bakery understands that simple fact.

What I want people to know is that H & S didn’t have to do any of this. Because of the increased demand for baked goods, I know they could have simply sold the bread and made larger profits. But instead, because of the culture that Chuck and the Paterakis family have instilled in their baking business, their team placed a high value on contributing to their community and giving to those in need.

Honestly, the very idea of donating a million loaves of bread is a staggering concept to comprehend. I mean, how many football fields would that even be? When I do the math, I come up with 3,278 fields. That is an impossible image for the mind to conjure. But you know what is not? The smile on a kid’s face. H & S gets that.

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