At a loss about how to forge closer bonds between the community and your organization? Let them bake bread!
I recently read an article about how such an oven was helping to revive a dilapidated park in Toronto.
This caused me to recall a seeing Braddock, PA Mayor John Braddock discuss a similar community oven his city set up. The oven was one of the cornerstones in the city’s plan to revitalize itself.
When I conducted a search to see where things stood now, I came across a story of a Torontonian studying nearby in Pittsburgh who was working on the Braddock oven as part of a fellowship.
If you read the article, you will see that like any project, a community oven isn’t quite as simple as it seems. The Braddock oven is being rebuilt/replaced because it isn’t as efficient as it could be. People have to be trained to use it correctly. The wood has to be seasoned and of the right type.
At the same time, the Canadian grad student, Shauna Kearns, has helped to forge community partnerships to get the rebuild accomplished.
With sustainability becoming an area of increased focus, (that was the basis of Shauna Kearns’ fellowship), participating/partnering in a community oven can be bolster organizational identity in the community.