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Monday, February 26, 2024

Flour Pot Bakery launches program, donates school meals

The Flour Pot Bakery is battling hunger one cookie at a time.

The bakery, located in the Tioga Town Center in Gainesville, launched its three-month Summer of Edible Goodness program on Tuesday, in which the owners agree to donate a school meal to a hungry child in a developing nation for every food item the store sells.

"We're doing directly one for one," said Melissa Austin, 22, partial owner of the bakery. "How many customers come in is how many meals we're giving."

After research, the bakery's owners chose to donate the money raised from selling baked goods to the United Nations' Fill the Cup Campaign. Bakery employees hand out tickets to customers and keep half of the ticket to track the number of food items sold.

"We want to give people a step up," Austin said. "Studies show that kids are more willing to go to school if they know they're going to get a meal."

In February, Austin assumed ownership of the store alongside her fiancé, Bryan Judah, 25, and his mother, Sally Judah. Judah's interest in social entrepreneurship and Austin's family background in baking encouraged the family to try running the business, Austin said.

"Being a businessman, [Judah] doesn't want to neglect that need to help too," she said.

Tuesday also marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Julian Nobles, Judah's grandfather, whose favorite pastime was finding fresh produce for friends, family and even strangers, she said. Austin said the Edible Goodness program was made in honor of him.

"He would actually go door to door to pass out local produce to friends," she said. "We never saw him without a basket of potatoes or something. He just loved making people happy."

The bakery is open from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Items sold at the bakery's stands in any of the farmers markets will also count toward the campaign. The Flour Pot Bakery employees attend famers markets downtown on Wednesdays, in Ocala on Fridays, and in both farmers markets held in Haile Plantation and Alachua on Saturday.

Editor's Note: This version corrects the store's hours of operation.

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