Managing editor Marina Mayer suggests the art of making bread looks good but doesn’t have to create crumbly mess. Just ask the Grain Foods Foundation about its new campaign.



The Art of Stamping Bread

When I think of bread art, I think of a small kid smashing the palm of his hand into slices of white Wonder bread, then twisting and turning his wrist so that the bread ties into a knot before separating into tiny pieces of crumbs.

It’s like Animal House meets Parenthood, minus the little kid ramming his head into the wall with a pail on his head.

Now bread art has a whole new meaning, and this time it won’t leave behind a crumbly mess - or create a gigantic headache.

On April 3, the Grain Foods Foundation officially launched the Bread Art Project, an interactive, educational, online fund-raising activity designed to help fight hunger one slice of bread art at a time.

In collaboration with Ted Allen, host of the Food Network’s “Food Detectives,” the Ridgway, Colo.-based organization put together the campaign in hopes of raising money to combat domestic hunger while “drawing” attention to the importance of bread.

Yes, consumers can actually draw or place an image of their face, pet or favorite photo onto a slice of bread.

For every slice of bread art submitted, Grain Foods Foundation donates $1 to Feeding America. For every dollar received, the Chicago-based domestic hunger-relief charity provides seven meals or four bags of groceries to food bank clients.

Aside from this being a good cause, it’s actually quite fun. For me, it was better than smashing real bread against the countertop.

Visitors can log on to www.gowiththegrain.org. Once inside the bread art design studio, the site leads users up an elevator and into the animation workshop room.

There, users can create a personalized piece of bread art by uploading a drawing or photo or designing an image to be stamped on a slice of bread. A range of artist tools such as shapes, brush sizes, fonts, templates and brightness options are available for users to get creative with their bread canvas. Participants then have to toast their photos.

Talk about applying your personal preferences.

Users also can take a virtual tour of the more than 16,000 bread projects (as of press time) from around the world by clicking on the galleries and scrolling through the loaf of bread art. Meanwhile, fun facts about bread and serious information about the problem with hunger scroll across the computer screen.

“Bread and grains not only provide many of the essential nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy,” says Judi Adams, president of the Grain Foods Foundation, “but this spring, they’ll also help put food on our neighbors’ tables.”

Additionally, visitors can become a Facebook fan of the Bread Art Project where they can share their art project with others. Plus, Kroger supermarkets, a Grain Foods Foundation member, are featuring point-of-sale materials in its 2,500 nationwide locations through May.

To heighten the campaign’s message, Allen delivered thousands of loaves of bread provided by Horsham, Pa.-based Bimbo Bakeries USA, also a member of the Grain Foods Foundation, to hunger-relief organizations, soup kitchens and food pantries throughout the five boroughs of New York that provide food for the hungry.

“The diversity of those affected by the hunger epidemic is astonishing, and it is an honor to be participating in such an extraordinary campaign to help our neighbors in need,” Allen says. “Combining three of my passions - food, art and philanthropy - for a worthy cause is a recipe everyone can agree is in good taste. I encourage everyone to take part in this initiative, which is a free and easy way to help provide healthy meals for struggling families.”

The more bread art consumers create, the more meals Feeding America puts on the table.

And parents can rest at ease because this project only creates morsels of good deeds instead of scraps on the kitchen floor.

Marina Mayer, managing editor
mayerm@bnpmedia.com


Editor’s Note: Go to www.snackandbakery.com to read Marina’s exclusive online-only columns.