Residents in need get free bakery items, thanks to Lynnwood’s ‘Bread Lady’
In the summer of 2018 while picking up her daughter from gymnastics in Woodinville, Marjie Jackson was surprised to see an employee at the nearby Oroweat/Bimbo bakery throwing bread into the dumpster. She learned it was overstock bread that would soon expire and although they donate to charities, they still had some left over. This got Marjie and her friends thinking about organizations in her Lynnwood community who could benefit from this.
She was inspired to action so the next week she asked Oroweat if she could pick up overstock bread to distribute to people in need. The employee was gracious and agreed. She remembered a shelter in Lynnwood that served women and children called YWCA Pathways for Women. Her family had participated in a holiday gift-giving program there a few years prior. She asked if they could use regular deliveries of bread and bakery items for their clients. They thought this was a great idea, so Marjie began weekly bread runs to the shelter.
Residents and staff of YWCA now call her “The Bread Lady.” She doesn’t mind. She is glad to give back to her community with this seemingly small but much needed volunteer effort. “It makes me happy to help families who are working hard to make ends meet. I love seeing the smiles on their faces when I arrive with a car full of bread. I look forward to taking a few hours out of my work week on ‘Bread Day.’ ”
YWCA staff agree. “It means so much to our clients. It makes their day knowing someone cares about them enough to go out of their way to deliver bread regularly,” said Marcine Nickolson, the shelter’s family advocate. “The generosity of our community is amazing!”
Marjie soon expanded delivery to YWCA’s affordable housing complex in Lynnwood called Somerset Village. With 3- to 4-bedroom apartments, they serve over 60 large, low-income families so having free bakery items available on a regular basis is perfect. She also delivers to Trinity Lutheran Church’s Neighbors in Need program and recently enlisted a friend, Ngaire Strickland, to help deliver bread to St. Vincent de Paul food bank in Shoreline.
Now Oroweat has enough organizations picking up overstock bread that it all gets donated. It’s a win/win for everyone involved and a great example of the community working together to support those in need.
— Story and photo courtesy of the YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish