Katherine Kehrli - Service to Community

Katherine Kehrli ’86

During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, countless novice bread bakers faced a common conundrum: producing more boules of crusty sourdough than their household could keep up with.

But where others saw an inconvenience, Katherine Kehrli ’86, associate dean of the Seattle Culinary Academy, saw opportunity. She founded a volunteer baking program called Community Loaves, which today—three years later—is still harnessing the enthusiasm of home-based bakers to help fight hunger. Kehrli is the 2023 recipient of the Service to Community Award from Puget Sound

With Community Loaves, volunteers of any skill level can pick up supplies, tie on their aprons, and whip up the organization’s official recipes for whole-grain honey oat sandwich loaves and/or energy cookies. Twice a month they can drop off their bounty of baked goods to their neighborhood hub, which delivers them to the local food bank.

So far, the organization has donated more than 115,000 loaves and 38,000 cookies, serving 39 food bank partners in four states: Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and California. Kehrli’s not done yet, though: She is looking for ways to spread the nonprofit’s nourishing mission even wider.

After all, as Community Loaves’ tagline states, we’re “Breader Together.”