The End of Bake

Why we are choosing a new event in 2020

by Lizzie Martinez

Leading up to our annual dessert tasting event, Bake to End Hunger, last year we asked people to share their favorite memory.

Several people waxed at length about the cake raffle–and winning one was a highlight. Others fondly remembered their favorite dessert to sample. I, too, remember my first Bake event. I had only been on staff for about 3 months. I was awed by the dazzling array of desserts, and excited by the fervor over the cake raffle.

Looking back on those fond memories, one thing is clearly missing. While everyone enjoyed the event, it is obvious that food was the star–not our work at Hunger-Free Oregon.

Like many anti-hunger organizations, we at Hunger-Free Oregon often face the dilemma of raising money to end hunger while simultaneously peddling decadent treats and encouraging gluttony. When food is the focus, the community takes a back seat.

As we debriefed Bake 2019, we began to face the reality. And, as we applied an equity lens to the event, it became too much to ignore. We needed a new event. An event where we can share not only our story, but stories of the people who are leaders in this movement. An event where food is included, but not the central piece. An event that allows us to set ticket prices that are affordable to a wide range of community members.

So, I write to share that we are officially discontinuing our Bake event. We are also letting go of our spring luncheon. Both events have served us well in the past years. We will be forever grateful to every single person–from chefs to partner organizations to staff to guests–who made these events a success. It was truly a team effort.

Bake, in particular, brought together the culinary industry to support our anti-hunger work in a way that was incredibly gratifying. Chefs and others in the industry have always been eager to participate in the solutions for hunger in our state. We will continue to partner to find ways to raise awareness and engage our restaurant partners.

Stay tuned for an announcement about a vision for a new event that will center our community, build the anti-hunger movement, and still have some good food to enjoy.

In the meantime, if you want to share feedback or thoughts with us, please reach out to [email protected]. We always welcome hearing from you.

Thank you for being part of this journey with us.