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Mercy Bakery is an idea that was founded on the principle that people should have access to the most basic form of substance: bread. But through the realization that many in Yemen lacked food, we had to take action.
With the mission to provide free public bakeries worldwide for those in need, the first branch of Mercy Bakery opened in Sana’a, Yemen, in August of 2018.
Our goal is to provide at least 28,000 loaves of bread a day to families in need, therefore providing a minimum of 840,000 loaves a month. But that is only possible if you and I join hands.
Our donors have continued to make this dream a reality. An idea that once looked like a mirage. We don’t want to impact the lives of Yemenis only; we have realized that this is a global call. But the only limiting factor is resources. But we are grateful for the strides we are making.
We are open seven days a week and guarantee food security to beneficiaries in the community for one year through a need-based voucher program. With an operating cost of $4,000 a month, which includes supplies, maintenance, and salaries for the staff, that amounts to less than 4 cents a loaf! Just imagine how far a donation can go into feeding an entire family, where a typical household has 7 people.
Meanwhile, we currently have 8 bakeries across Yemen. Benefiting families undergo a comprehensive need assessment. HRD staff, primarily women, conduct home visits of potential aid recipients to catalogue income, family size, and employment status. Recipients are not charged for food; instead, a monthly renewable card punch system is in place.
Seeing the success of bakeries and community involvement in the initiative made us want to expand our services to the cities most affected by the crisis. Our locations now have bakeries with kitchens to provide individuals with more nutritious food and meals. Because of the increase in gas prices, families find it challenging to make their meals. In Sana’a, we currently have 3 functioning bakeries and 2 functional kitchens.
Local staff and volunteers serve as bakers, delivery personnel, security, and supply procurers. They work alongside representatives of each district to enforce a dignified treatment of each participant.
Bakeries and Kitchens are not advertised as food distribution sites, allowing families to enter and leave freely without fear of neighbors suspecting they are receiving aid.