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Hopkins, City of Gaithersburg and King Arthur Flour Team Up to Raise Hunger Awareness

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Hunger has no place in Gaithersburg.

With that in mind, Johns Hopkins University, King Arthur Flour and the City of Gaithersburg have teamed up on an initiative to raise awareness of issues involving food insecurity.

“Hunger is a very real issue in Gaithersburg, and we are proud to support a number of programs that help our residents access quality food,” Mayor Jud Ashman said. “We can’t think of a more caring activity than baking a loaf of bread to share with a friend, neighbor or someone in need.”

To kick off the program, called Bake for Good Gaithersburg, the Gaithersburg Germantown Chamber of Commerce held a baking contest. Chamber members also were encouraged to bring cans of non-perishable food or a monetary donation to Manna Food Center. Barbara Crews, assistant executive director of community relations for the JHU Montgomery County Campus and immediate past president of the Chamber, participated in the event.

She and representatives from Manna, Gaithersburg HELP, Nourish Now and the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Food Security Plan are slated to attend a Gaithersburg City Council meeting on March 4. At the meeting, the city is expected to proclaim March “Hunger Awareness Month.” The effort is aimed to bring attention to the nearly 64,000 people in Montgomery County who experience food insecurity, and the 6,600 people in the city who rely on food assistance programs annually.

Throughout the month of March, King Arthur Flour will hold several baking demonstrations that will be open to the public. At those sessions, a King Arthur instructor will lead a 90-minute demonstration on how to make basic yeast bread and quick bread. The events will be at the Casey Community Center and the Holiday Inn in Gaithersburg. Details about dates and registration procedures can be found on the King Arthur website.

Those who attend the demonstrations are encouraged to prepare baked goods at home and donate them to a hunger relief organization in Gaithersburg or to share the food with friends or neighbors.

School children also will be involved. Throughout March, King Arthur Flour will visit approximately 10 schools in the city, mostly elementary schools. Students will learn the science and math behind bread baking, and they will hone their recipe-reading skills.

After the demonstration, students will receive enough ingredients from King Arthur Flour to bake two loaves of bread at home. The students are to share one loaf with their families and are asked to bring the second loaf back to school. JHU students and staff members will pick up the bread from the schools and donate it to local nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry.

“This is a great way for Hopkins students and staff members to give back to the community,” Crews said. “This initiative is also important to Hopkins as we work to reinforce the science and math skills young students learn in class. These children will learn about the changing states of matter, the differences between mixtures and new substances and, through baking, they will see that science and math have real life applications.”

The effort is similar to one done for the past seven years at the JHU Montgomery County Campus, where local fourth-graders visited the campus to watch a bread baking demonstration courtesy of King Arthur Flour. After learning about the chemistry of bread baking, students went home to bake two loaves of bread. They donated one of the two to Interfaith Works.

“We believe in building community through baking,” said Carey Underwood, director of mission driven partnerships and programs at the Vermont-based flour company. “The City of Gaithersburg's Hunger Awareness Month is a great opportunity to inspire community members to spread the joy of baking—and to help make positive social change through even a single loaf of bread.”

CATEGORY: In The Community