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One loaf for you. One loaf for a friend. One loaf for someone in need

You might be familiar with this guy, Jerry James Stone, a California-based cook and food blogger who shares his brilliantly inventive and beautifully photographed vegetarian and vegan recipes on his food blog, ‘Cooking Stoned’.

In 2010, as part of the Yahoo!’s Ripple of Kindness campaign, Jerry was given $100 to turn it into an act of kindness. In turn, Jerry and a group of friends baked 300 loaves of bread to give to San Francisco’s homeless.

From this spawned a movement dubbed Three Loaves, where home cooks are encouraged to extend their efforts beyond their home, making a loaf to enjoy themselves, one to share with a friend, and one to give to someone in need. A far easier prospect than making 300 loaves alone, revealing that gestures of great kindness can be easily made.

Today, there are hundreds of subscribers to the Three Loaves Project. Each month they receive a beautiful bread recipe to share. From those hundreds, thousands have been saved in times of hunger.

This quote from the Three Loaves Website encapsulates the movement best:

“We believe you cannot nurture others if you’re not well taken care of yourself, so that first loaf is for you.

We also believe you’re our best ambassador, so share the second loaf with a friend. Tell them why you made it, and ask them to join us in the fight against hunger.

That last loaf is for someone in your community who needs it the most.”

We encourage MamaBakers to adopt the message of Three Loaves and help persons in need within their own communities.

The definition of a person “in need” can mean many things. Jerry states that he has given his third loaf to homeless individuals but also acquaintances,

“Sadly, I pass many homeless people every time I drive to the store. It is heartbreaking but I simply just take a loaf with me, pull up and hand it out. They are so grateful for it! I have also given it to acquaintances who I knew were struggling a bit. You always hear about friends in need… and it is a great way to get to know someone better.”

At MamaBake we’re all about community and helping one another, so this movement really resonates with us. If you love to bake and share your food, extend your hands a little further to someone you may not know, but whom you know is in need.

To begin with, Jerry recommends starting your first go at Three Loaves with a friend. Begin by inducting them into the movement by giving them your second loaf, and then together think of whom to give the third one to and deliver it together.

From there you could combine your baking efforts. This would also be great to do in a MamaBake group. Everyone make a loaf for themselves, each person in the group receive a loaf from another person in the group, and together deliver your third loaves together.

Regarding where to deliver your third loaf: this works best on a face-to-face basis. If you’ve heard about someone or seen someone in your local community who needs assistance, then this is your best bet. Everyone knows someone who is struggling and could do with some help in the form of lovingly home-made food. Be aware that food banks and similar community food organisations cannot accept home-made food. Talk to churches and local community centres about ways to distribute your loaves, or they will know persons that could do with your assistance.

Over time, this movement could develop into producing other types of food beyond bread. As we’re into big batch cooking at MamaBake, an additional family serving of a dish from your MamaBaking efforts could be given to someone in need and a regular form of assistance could be developed. If you know a mother or family in your community who could benefit from MamaBaking but who has held back because she lacks the cooking equipment, skills or funds, then consider each making an extra serving of food to donate to them weekly. This could make a huge difference in someone’s life and help them onto a path where they can better help themselves and go on to help others.

Jerry wishes to thank every person that has participated in the Three Loaves Project so far. We can “share our fortune with our community” through these acts of kindness.

So MamaBakers, we invite you to join us in making three loaves! Show us your efforts and share your stories about successes and failures and your ideas about how we can implement this movement here in Australia.

To start with, Jerry has kindly provide his recipe for Blueberry Thyme bread, the first recipe that was sent to the original 77 subscribers in 2014. You can find it Blueberry Thyme Bread.


The recipe is full of beautiful step-by-step photographs including an awesome little video showing you how to knead the dough properly.

You can join the movement here, at Three Loaves. You will receive a beautiful bread recipe in your inbox every month and you will be able to see the efforts of other members.

MamaBake wants to thank Jerry James Stone for sharing his story with us and we are excited to join him in saying “F*** you” to hunger!


You can find Jerry’s other work on his blog Cooking Stoned. We’re big fans of his clever recipes, beautiful photography, amazing cooking videos and always cracking whit.

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