May 14, 2020
The HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development of Wheaton College delivered 90 loaves of homemade bread to Northwoods Share, a local community resource center.
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has provided a way HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development to pivot and serve its community: baking homemade bread. Located in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, HoneyRock is both a camp and an extension of the Wheaton College campus, dedicated to providing transformational outdoor experiences for Christ and His Kingdom.
In early May, HoneyRock Director Dr. Rob Ribbe reached out to Northwoods Share, a local community resource center, asking a simple question: “How can we help?” Northwoods Share, which provides community dinners, a food pantry, and financial assistance to those in need, determined homemade bread would be a nice addition to the supplies the center usually provides.
“We have this wonderful kitchen here that’s not very active right now,” said HoneyRock Foodservice Manager and Head Chef Thomas Wiley. “We thought it could be a valuable service to produce this great product and distribute it to the community.”
Wiley tweaked his classic HoneyRock bread recipe, creating a Sesame Italian Loaf, which he then made in large batches. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, Wiley and his sous chef Brent Zohimsky have made 90 loaves of bread for Northwoods Share. The bread was delivered to community members who lined up outside of the resource center hoping to receive food and pantry items.
"Thank you, HoneyRock! Your bread was a great hit! We handed out all your loaves and folks were blessed!” said Pam Zaugg, vice president of the Northwoods Share board of directors, in a note sent to the HoneyRock team.
Although the center has experienced a decrease of clientele since the pandemic started—likely due to health concerns or misunderstandings about the center’s continuance during the shutdown—Zaugg remarked about her gratefulness for the way volunteers can hand out daily bread while also praying with community members who visit.
“It’s personally satisfying to be in a position where you can provide help to others,” Wiley said. "As Christians, we want to serve others and love them and show the love of Jesus through our actions—and we get to do that through the resource of HoneyRock that God has provided for us.”—Emily Bratcher