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Photos: Bakers Against Racism
Both chefs and home bakers are making and selling desserts, then donating profits to a group of their choice that supports black people in their community.

It’s been interesting to see how many different kinds of food businesses have been on the front lines helping out in difficult times. After all, everyone has to eat, and when they buy food, they’re often open to doing good simultaneously.

Whether it’s a nonprofit raising funds to keep restaurant workers employed feeding healthcare workers (OffTheirPlate) or bakers taking a stand against racism (@BakersAgainstRacism), there have been quite a few spontaneous efforts taking off.

Teddy Amenabar reported recently at the Washington Post, “Three D.C. pastry chefs have launched an effort that’s become an international bake sale raising money for nonprofit community groups working against racism.

“Through Bakers Against Racism, professional chefs and home bakers are making and selling desserts, then donating profits to a group of their choice that supports black people in their community. The project was launched the first week in June and has more than 3,000 bakers in more than 200 cities in 16 countries.

“On the first day they put the word out on social media, 100 chefs signed up. … Days later, there were more than 1,000 participating chefs.

” ‘After that, it just snowballed out of control,’ said Paola Velez, executive pastry chef at Kith/Kin on the Wharf, who with two other D.C. chefs started what might be the world’s biggest bake sale.

“It works like this: Bakers contact the group on its website to join in the bake sale. Bakers Against Racism then sends participants instructions on starting and precautions to take during the pandemic. Each baker is expected to make a minimum of 150 pastries or other goodies and send a majority of the proceeds to an organization that promotes social justice in their community. Once all the baked goods are sold, bakers will record on the website how much they’ve raised.

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“Bakers are sending donations to local chapters of Black Lives Matter, nearby nonprofits and organizations that support communities of color.

“Raisa Aziz, a home baker who lives in Northeast Washington, is preparing to make 250 almond shortbread cookies at home and donate the proceeds to the Okra Project — which provides home-cooked meals for black transgender people — as well as the Loveland Foundation, which helps black women and girls seeking therapy. …

“The idea for the project came in late May after Willa Pelini, a pastry chef who works at Emilie’s on Capitol Hill, saw the success Velez had with a pop-up Dominican doughnut shop at Union Market in March called Doña Dona. Velez donated a portion of her proceeds to a group that provides legal counsel for immigrants in the D.C. area.

“Pelini messaged Velez about possibly teaming up to raise money for Black Lives Matter after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. …

“Velez created a Google Docs folder with information to share with any pastry chef or home baker who wanted to be involved. She called up Rob Rubba, the chef and a partner at the not-yet-open Oyster Oyster in Shaw who has a background in graphic design, to create a logo. After a few days of planning, the three pastry chefs launched their idea. …

‘It takes zero dollars to start something like this. I used Google Forms, you know?’ Velez said.

“The team’s Instagram account for the project has more than 28,000 followers, but chapters also are popping up in Berlin, Kansas City, New York, Paris and San Francisco to help organize the effort. Velez said people on five continents are participating.

“Rachel Anderson, a pastry chef in Saint Paul, Minn., learned about the project a few days ago on Instagram from other women in the restaurant industry. … She is using donated rhubarb from a local nonprofit to make and sell about 100 rhubarb crisp pies through a coffee shop with locations around the Twin Cities….

“All proceeds from the rhubarb pies are going to Appetite for Change, a nonprofit that grows and makes food, distributes meals and offers job training in North Minneapolis. Anderson said the bakery has raised about $2,000.” More here.

Check out some yummy photos on Instagram, @bakersagainstracism.

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After a mostly cold and rainy month of May, the sun shone, and there was a lovely warm wind.

But the weather can change again. A surer sign of summer is something that happens outside my office on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the season. So I’m excited that the farmers market returned to Dewey Square today.

There were lots of fresh vegetables and flowers, baked goods (including bread from Maine’s ever popular When Pigs Fly), nuts, prepared foods, preserves, and more. I ended up buying some nice-looking granola. Also a Swedish almond cake because son-in-law Erik is from Sweden, and I am a sucker for pastries said to be Swedish.

The Farmers Market is at one end of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, across from South Station. I wrote about the Greenway a couple days ago, here.

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