Getting Started

FAQs → Getting Started

Answers to the most commonly asked questions can be found below. Still Stumped? Contact Us!

Getting Started (6)


  1. Attended an Information Session.
  2. Create your volunteer profile and connect with your local baking community.
  3. Order supplies through our Flour Fundraiser shop.
  4. Access our signature formulas and bake your bread or energy cookies.
  5. Package up your baked items and drop them with your hub leader for donation!

Here is a list of the Food Banks We Support.

Volunteer Safety Best Practices & Program Requirements

Guidelines For Safe Food Handling & Packaging

Our donation project is successful thanks to the personal commitment each of our bakers makes to adhering to the following food safety practices:

  • Store your ingredients in a clean, dry, and cool environment. 
  • Store energy cookie base in the refrigerator until you use it, as it contains almond meal.
  • Wash your hands and keep your work surface clean.
  • Pull long hair back or even better, regardless of hair length, wear a cap, like a ball cap to prevent unwanted hair from falling into your baked goods.
  • Make sure loaves and cookies are thoroughly baked, nice brown coloring all the way around. Bread loaves will sound hollow when you gently thump on the bottom. 
  • Thoroughly cool, to room temperature loaves and/or cookies before packaging. This prevents unwanted condensation from building up inside the packaging. 
  • Packaging
    • When items are completely cooled, use kitchen tongs or a gloved hand to place in the bag. (Avoid placing a warm loaf in the bag, which creates condensation, leading to mold and spoilage.)
    • For the bread loaves, squeeze out as much air from the bag as possible, then twist tie tightly closed.
    • For the cookies, fold the top of the wax bakery bag over and affix a sticker over the flap to seal. Watch our packaging video in baker resources if you have questions.
    • Place items in your freezer or a freezer bank until donation. Or, if donating within 24 hours, place them in a brown paper bag, mark the bag with your name, and take them directly to your designated hub by the drop-off time.
  • Home kitchen inspection is not required.
    • Baked goods that do not require refrigeration are considered safe to be donated from home kitchens.

Age Requirements

Our requirements regarding volunteering are governed by common sense and insurance standards. The following should provide you the information you need, but please reach out if you have further questions:

  1. Baker – anyone accepting and following our baking best practices can bake and donate. Younger bakers, middle and high school age can earn volunteer service hours for their time. It is expected that all young bakers will follow the safety practices and follow the recipes precisely.
  2. Flour Packer – no age limit. However, precision in breaking down 50 lb bags into 5 lb portions is a must. Flour is our thing, so neatness and attention to detail matter.
  3. Stage and Load the Truck – ability to lift, without struggle, 40 lbs.
  4. Drive The Truck – Twenty-five years of age or older with a valid driver’s license and insurance.

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How to Sign Up

All volunteer bakers begin their journey with Community Loaves by attending a virtual information session. This allows you to learn about the organization and the impact of our freshly baked donations. Sign up for one of these sessions here:

Don’t see a time that works? Please contact us and we’ll help you out!

How Long is an Info Session?

Information sessions are just an hour long, with plenty of time for questions. You will leave the session completely prepared to begin baking the world a better place.

I Missed My Session! Now What?

Life happens, we know. You can easily sign up for another session! Just revisit the “Attend Info Session” link above and choose the next available time that matches with your schedule.

Unable to find a session that works with your schedule? There is a possibility we have a recording to share with you. Please email us here.

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There are two donation opportunities every month, typically the second and fourth Sundays of the month. The schedule can vary in a month due to holidays. Our Community Loaves calendar is set for the entire year to make it easier for our volunteers to plan their baking.

There is no minimum donation requirement. However, our food bank partners can use all the bread and energy cookies we can possibly donate, and demand exceeds supply across the board. Your contributions, when you are able to bake and donate, will be cherished by the food bank clients.

There are some volunteers who have never missed a donation, but more commonly, our volunteer bakers develop a routine that fits into their busy schedules. For some, that is once a month or every other month. Just know that whenever you participate you are helping to nourish your local neighbors in need.

And, our formulas freeze beautifully, which means you can plan ahead! If you know you will be out of town for a donation, you can bake ahead, package, and freeze your donation. On donation Sunday, simply take them out of the freezer and drop at your neighborhood hub. Alternatively, you can make an early donation by taking them to a local freezer bank.

The amount of time donated depends on what you choose to bake. Our bread formula typically takes 6-7 hours, depending on the formula you choose. Of course, being bread, that isn’t all hands-on time. Our Energy Cookie takes about 3 hours, start to finish.

Volunteer Behind the Scenes

Not all our volunteers are bakers! Some dedicate their time to helping this non-profit thrive by packing supplies, assisting with administrative work, and providing volunteer support and service. A host of roles and responsibilities behind the scenes exist that allow us to bake a difference for our food bank partners. If you love what our organization is doing and would like to be involved, but don’t have the time or the interest in turning on your oven, let’s see if we have an opportunity available that might be a better match.Want to learn more? Contact us to ask any questions you might have, or to see what current openings might fit with your interests. You can also sign up to Attend an Info Session




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Our Flour Fundraiser

Support Community Loaves every time you purchase flour!

To support our baking efforts, we run a monthly flour fundraiser. This fundraiser gives our volunteer bakers a lovely discount on high-quality professional flours and allows our 501c3 non-profit organization to thrive! Like a sourdough starter, regular “feedings” help to fund our growth and development. Registered volunteers can easily access our online shop for the purchase of essential supplies for the items we bake and donate to our food bank partners.

But, if you aren’t a registered volunteer, and are concerned about having time to bake with us, you can support the mission of Community Loaves and your baking habit at the same time. Every Tuesday from 10:00 – 4:00 pm, our Flour Store is open for drop-in visits. We’re located at 8730 122nd Ave NE, Kirkland. Here, at Flour Central, you can purchase freshly milled flours from the Skagit at a discount to retail, as well as a few specialty flours typically available to professional bakers only. If you have questions on availability, send us an email at

In all cases, we strive to keep this program accessible and affordable while ensuring we can support our food banks for years to come.

Make a Doughnation

Each loaf of bread makes a difference and your financial contributions do too!

Food insecurity is on the rise and Community Loaves is committed to being a solution provider, baking delicious and nutritious sandwich bread from our home kitchens and donating these loaves to struggling food pantries across the country.

Your donations advance this nourishing work by helping us expand our network, develop new products, and improve our operations. And all donations are fully deductible. With your help, we can expand to more communities, support more volunteer bakers and feed more people.

We’re exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3). Donors can deduct contributions they make under IRC Section 170. We are qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522. EIN 32-0619621

Donating from outside the US?

You may run into a challenge making a donation from outside the US. This happened to our Canadian neighbors who were donating in memory of one of our volunteer bakers who lost her battle with cancer.

If you are interested in donating to Community Loaves and run into difficulty during the check-out process, please attempt the following steps:

  1. Use your normal billing address
  2. Check the “Use a different shipping address box” located to the right of the screen.
  3. Enter our Community Loaves address as the shipping address. Community Loaves, 8730 122nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98033

If you are still encountering issues, please contact us directly at

Thank you in advance for considering making a contribution to Community Loaves!

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Community Loaves is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, and as such we depend on our Flour Fundraiser and generous donations to cover our program expenses. The sales from our monthly Flour Fundraiser provide much needed assistance and support to our expanding volunteer network.

Through our Flour Fundraiser, we are able to offer ingredients and supplies at a significant discount compared to retail prices. For example, a 5lb bag of Cairspring Mills Trailblazer flour costs $20.99 at the grocery store, our bakers can purchase the same 5lb bag for only $10.95! A special discount for you, that simultaneously supports local flour mills, and raises a few dollars for our non-profit. That’s what we call a Win.

Ingredient & Packaging Costs For A Loaf Of Bread:

The current cost to make and bake one loaf of bread is $2.84, including the packaging. This can vary, especially in our expanded markets like California or Idaho. If you purchase different flour or types of ingredients, for example, specialty honey or farmer’s market oats, the loaf price could be higher. Our price used Costco honey, oatmeal, and olive oil. For the flour, we used our Community Loaves flour store pricing. Bakers are given a 6-hour donation of time credit for every batch of 3-4 loaves donated. Use this time credit to satisfy community service requirements or request corporate matching! Our non-profit benefits greatly from corporate matching!

Ingredient & Packaging Costs Per Energy Cookie:

The donated cost per Breader Together Energy Cookie is $0.88 cents per cookie, fully packaged. We used average store pricing for the ingredients beyond our signature cookie base – items like unsweetened apple sauce, pecans, cornmeal, blueberries, and raw sugar…. An entire batch of cookies (32) costs $28.23 and takes approximately 3 hours to mix, bake and package.

Our volunteer bakers give their time, talent, and treasure to bake and donate our signature honey oat sandwich bread and energy cookies to our local food bank partners. It is a big, beautiful volunteer project and we track all gifts.

Volunteer time for younger bakers can be used to satisfy community service requirements or, for those in industry, serve as support in the request for corporate matching.

Every donation is logged on your volunteer baker profile, and you can pull a giving statement anytime. The giving statement records the total items donated, the volunteer time to complete those donations, and the financial cost.

Volunteers can download their current doughnation statement anytime! It is found on your volunteer profile page.

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Community Loaves is a value add to the exceptional and vital work completed daily at foodbanks throughout the region. As an organization, we love to bake, and we love to donate fresh, nutritious, and delicious items such as our Sandwich Bread and Energy Cookies to our food bank partners.

Become a Partner

Becoming a partner is easy and free. It can, however, take a little time to create a brigade of bakers in each geographic location. If you are interested in a Community Loaves effort to support your foodbank, we would love to start the conversation.

To learn more, check out our Foodbank Partner Page.

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