Alexandria, VA

Together We Bake, the local nonprofit dedicated to providing comprehensive workforce training and personal development for women in need, just reopened its kitchen just in time for Mother’s Day.

“We figured that we could resume operations in our kitchen and maintain six feet of distance,” Together We Bake Co-Director Elizabeth Bennett-Parker told ALXnow. “The deadline for Mother’s Day orders is this Sunday.”

Two program graduates are now working in the kitchen at the Old Town Community Church, and the nonprofit still has nine employees working at their full salaries with benefits.

Bennett-Parker, who is also the vice mayor of Alexandria, said that the Together We Bake training program has been canceled until the fall, and that the nonprofit is still in touch with the nine applicants who were accepted. Their annual Empowerment Breakfast next month has also been cancelled.

“We are attempting to figure out how we can continue training while also maintaining social distancing and following the governor’s orders, but we are still in touch currently with the graduates of our program,” she said.

Nearly 200 women have graduated and received ServSafe food handler certifications through the program, and the nonprofit was able to award certifications to its winter class on March 12 before shutting down for more than a month due to the coronavirus pandemic. Each graduate is paired with a job counselor who works one-on-one with them on resume writing, interview skills, and how to search and applying for jobs.

Revenue from the nonprofit is derived from grants, donations and product sales, and Together We Bake also just raised $56,918 from 204 donors in the Spring2ACTion fundraiser on April 15.

Bennett-Parker now anticipates that in-store sales of products like cookies, granola, trail mix and apple chips will be affected, since retailers like Whole Foods on Duke Street, The Old Town Shop and Stomping Ground are being challenged by the pandemic.

Our kitchen is open! We resumed production today and will begin shipping orders on Monday, May 4th. #MothersDay is…

Posted by Together We Bake on Monday, April 27, 2020

Photo via TWB/Facebook

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