National Festival of Breads Gives Back to Community Near and Far

June 12, 2015

The National Festival of Breads is more than a baking contest. Event sponsors King Arthur Flour and Red Star Yeast have partnered with the Flint Hills Breadbasket to provide festival participants and attendees three chances to give back to the local Kansas community.

The Flint Hills Breadbasket provides the resources needed to make three meals a day to more than 27,000 people in need in the Manhattan, Kansas, area. National Festival of Bread attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good with them to the festival, which will be donated to the Flint Hills Breadbasket.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the National Festival of Breads,” said Maribeth Keiffer, executive director of the Flint Hills Breadbasket. “Baking and sharing – it is the perfect fit.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to contribute to the Flint Hills Breadbasket through festival sponsor King Arthur Flour’s Bake Truck, part of the company’s Bake for Good program. The truck will be handing out dinner rolls and collecting donations for the Flint Hills Breadbasket.

“We believe that baking and doing good go hand in hand,” said Katie Walker, public relations manager for King Arthur Flour. “What is a better way to connect with a community than through baked goods?”

Festival attendees can learn more about the Bake for Good: Kids program by attending the “Learn Bake Share” session, presented by King Arthur baking instructor Nate Sandel. This program which is family-friendly is an extension of an initiative that began 25 years ago and has reached a quarter of a million children across 45 states. King Arthur Flour provides a free program for schools where students learn math, science and comprehension skills to bake two loaves of bread, once of which they donate to a hunger-relief organization in their community. 

To expand reach even further, festival sponsor Red Star Yeast asks attendees to think on a larger scale through their Baking the World a Better Place campaign with Stop Hunger Now. Since 1998, Stop Hunger Now has provided more than 180 million meals in 65 countries.

Kelly Olson, consumer relations supervisor with Red Star Yeast, said Stop Hunger Now is “driven by a vision of a world without hunger” and focuses on providing not only meals to the world’s hungry, but also providing education about health, nutrition and life skills. This international focus is especially poignant in Kansas, where 50 percent of wheat grown is exported.

For the National Festival of Breads, attendees will hear from Olson and Chessney Barrick Pullen, director of communications and cause marketing for Stop Hunger Now. The pair will focus on the partnership between Red Star Yeast and Stop Hunger Now, the Baking the World a Better Place programs and how to getting involved can change lives.

“The primary focus of Red Star’s partnership with Stop Hunger Now ‘Baking the World a Better Place’ campaign is to build awareness that hunger is solvable and is the common thread among the world’s most challenging issues,” Olson said. “Secondly, we want to encourage and give suggestions of how people can get involved, whether it be packaging meals for Stop Hunger Now or simply trying one of Red Star’s Bake & Share recipes to help out someone in need in their community.”

In addition to canned goods, the National Festival of Breads will auction off the winning breads with proceeds donated to the Flint Hills Breadbasket and Stop Hunger Now.

With the combined forces of Stop Hunger Now, Red Star Yeast, King Arthur Flour and the Flint Hills Breadbasket, the National Festival of Breads will do more than showcase the nation’s best bread. Attend the festival of Saturday, June 13 in Manhattan, Kansas, to learn how to contribute to a local community near or far.