A couple weeks ago, we got the chance to visit Homeboy Bakery in downtown LA thanks to the good people at King Arthur Flour who organized the “Bake for Good” tour. The bakery is one of several social enterprises run by its parent organization, Homeboy Industries, which works to serve high-risk, gang-involved men and women by providing a number of vital services and multiple job training sites. Homeboy Bakery is the oldest of these sites.
On our tour we caught a glimpse of the staff prepping fresh rolls, loaves of bread, and some gorgeous looking pastries.
We also had a chance to chat with some of the guys about their experience working in the bakery, what brought them to Homeboy, and the ways it’s been a positive force in their lives. Our little group of food bloggers was a bit shy about asking so many questions, but everyone we spoke to was warm and open with us about their experience.
The work that Homeboy is doing is worthwhile and moving on a number of levels, but I think what really hit home for Jennie and me is the way that food can create a community and how healing it can be. It’s a lesson we learn over and over again as it relates to our own lives — every time we make a new friend and invite them to dinner or bring food for someone who needs it — but it’s true everywhere. This was a good reminder that food has the power to bring anyone together, not just food-obsessed bloggers such as ourselves.
Please take a few minutes to learn about Homeboy Industries and consider ways you can help, even if it just means dropping by Homegirl Cafe to buy a cup of coffee and a baked from scratch pastry!