Bakers offer free bread to those in need in a bid to ‘keep Norfolk fed’

Steve Winter, owner and general manager Isabel Brentnall of Bread Source. pic: Archant

Steve Winter, owner and general manager Isabel Brentnall of Bread Source. pic: Archant

Artisan bakers in Norfolk have launched their own version of a war-time loaf scheme to help feed people who have lost their jobs because of coronavirus.

It comes as bakers across the county are stepping up production and bringing in new measures to ensure people can still buy bread.

Bread Source, with five outlets in Norfolk, four in Norwich and one in Aylsham, will be baking 100 loaves available free to people who have recently lost their jobs because of coronavirus. These range from hospitality workers to chefs, front of house staff and baristas.

The free loaves will also be made available to NHS and social care workers.

Two Magpies Bakery, Tmber Hill, Norwich. Pic: Archant

Two Magpies Bakery, Tmber Hill, Norwich. Pic: Archant

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Other essentials such as milk, eggs and butter will be available for others in need for a 20% discount and bread for £1 a loaf.

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Bread Sauce’s shops remain open but they are not selling coffee and asking customers to keep two metres apart. They have also launched an online ‘click and contactless collect’ service. And they are delivering to people in isolation and the most vulnerable.

Owner Steve Winter said: “We will keep baking until everyone is fed. As bakers we see it as our duty to ensure everyone has access to fresh and nutritious loaves. In these uncertain times, we want to provide you with continuity and reassurance that we will always have your back. We will not stop baking.”

Siding Yard, Melton Constable. Pic: Archant

Siding Yard, Melton Constable. Pic: Archant

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Developed by the Federation of Bakers in 1942 during the Second World War, the National Loaf Scheme saw a wholemeal loaf as part of the homefront effort to keep the country fed during rationing.

Other local bakeries are also doing their bit. At Siding Yard in Melton Constable, near Holt, owner Polly Quick is baking to order for people who email her as well as offering items for collection and using volunteers to deliver to others in self-isolation.

Two Magpies Bakery, in Timber Hill, Norwich, it is open but operating a strict system of serving one person at a time and grinding coffee to take home but no other drinks.

Owners Steve Magnall and Rebecca Bishop said: “We will stay open as long as our team feel safe and well and we can cover running costs, Please collect for neighbours who are in isolation so they have food.”

And at Dozen Bakery, Gloucester Street, Norwich, it is asking customers to order the day before, limiting customers to two loaves a day. It posted on social media: “Over the past few days, we’ve seen a huge rise in the demand for bread, we are busy baking more.”

For updates on coronavirus in Norfolk see the Facebook page here

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