KANSAS CITY — Mandated shutdowns, school closings and rushes on supermarket resources during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have left many consumers without basic and necessary access to food.  

As commercial bakers ramp up production to meet an unprecedented increase in demand, they’re also boosting production to provide meals to those in need.

In Baltimore, H&S Bakery employees have put in extra hours to not only meet the increased demand at the retail level but also provide product to several charitable organizations. H&S has provided thousands of products — from its H&S, Mid-Atlantic Baking, Crispy Bagel, Schmidt and Automatic Rolls of Baltimore brands — to Meals on Wheels, Moveable Feast, Our Daily Bread, Baltimore Hunger Project, My Sister’s Place, Living Classrooms, Weekend Backpacks and more.

“H&S employees have stepped up to the challenge of the past few weeks, getting to work and putting in the hours to ensure local grocers and communities have access to bread during these uncertain times,” said a representative for the bakery.

Similarly, Baker Boy, Dickinson, ND, announced it had donated bread, buns and donuts to various areas in its community to support Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a Dickinson Facebook group set up to help high-risk people in the community receive food and other items. Citizens can sign up to do grocery runs or deliver meals.

Baker Boy also delivered donuts to local first responders in gratitude for their continued work in a time where many non-essential workers are self-quarantined and children for whom school cancellations are creating food insecurity.

Additionally, retailers such as Salisbury, NC-based Food Lion has donated more than $600,000 — the equivalent of six million meals — to hunger relief efforts, of which $500,000 will remain local. The remainder will be donated to Feeding America.

"Nourishing our neighbors is core to everything we do, and we know that many of our neighbors have been tremendously impacted by the recent school and business closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Meg Ham, president of Food Lion.

The grocer, which has more than 1,000 outlets in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, also will use the funds to support local food banks and to purchase boxes of food and supplies for delivery to seniors and provide nutritious lunches to children while school is out of session.