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Fresh Eats: Stuffing Your Face with Bread for Charity 

Wednesday, Jun 15 2011
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Maybe you've seen Michael Shwe around. He's the dude handing out free bread on Fridays from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Philz Coffee at Fourth and Berry streets. Of course, if you're not a terrible person, you're most likely leaving a donation for the bread, which doesn't go into Shwe's pocket. Instead, his business, Proof Baking, donates 100 percent of its profits to New Door Ventures, a nonprofit that partners with local business to give three-month job internships to disconnected local youth.

Not only does Shwe's Friday morning Philz activity raise money and awareness for New Door, he also signs up volunteers and business partners who can provide job internships. He also hosts periodic baking classes as fundraisers, as well as "Open Kitchen Thursdays," where people come to his house and bake loaves for the next day's giveaway. The revenue from all of these activities goes to New Door, which keeps his books clean and makes donators feel better about gorging on gluten. Shwe says he picked New Door Ventures because it has measurable and impressive success rates with interns: 86 percent get full-time jobs or go on to higher education.

Shwe asks for $20 for full loaves of sourdough, and takes a donate-what-you-can approach to slices. He's pretty much the greatest, so go buy his bread, support New Ventures, and if you can't make it on Fridays, you can always make a donation on Proof Baking's website (www.proofbaking.com) and Shwe will deliver a fresh loaf to your face.

Maybe bread is the key to world peace. Not to get all deep and shit, but can you imagine if we all did something like this? The world would be a completely different place. See? Deep. Kinda. Or maybe we'll just eat this excellent bread until we're so fat that we can't get outside to see the earth self-destruct. Decisions, decisions.

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Laura Beck

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