WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Step inside the Great Harvest Bread Company on Oleander Drive and the aroma of fresh bread, cakes, muffins and sweet treats fills the air.
“We really love our product," Wilmington Great Harvest owner Jodie Hawthorne said. "We use fresh, whole ingredients. (We’re) up before the sunrise to make it happen.”
Hawthorne decided Tuesday morning she wanted to share her product with those who may need a little extra dough during the partial government shutdown. Now in its third week, the shutdown is affecting more than 800,000 federal workers.
“I first saw this idea in a Great Harvest store in Kansas, and I thought, this makes a lot of sense as there are so many in our community affected by the shutdown,” Hawthorne said.
Hawthorne did just that, creating a shelf of free bread with a sign that reads "Shutdown Shelf, Take a loaf for your family or a family in need.”
“I just hope people understand that small, local businesses care about the community," Hawthorne said. "There are folks that go without all the time, and many that are going without now because of this. We have a little bit of extra bread everyday we can afford to donate. If someone can come in, get a free loaf of bread, it makes us feel good.”
Hawthorne hopes other local businesses follow her lead and pay it forward as the partial government shutdown continues.