Bread is an important staple for many communities around the world. During our Hungry for change campaign, two of our partners talk about the important part bread plays in their lives, and the challenges they face when the price of ingredients goes up.
Teresinha Camargo da Silva runs a healthy eating project, called Bread and Art, as part of the work of CAFOD’s Brazil partner, MDF, to help families on low incomes make the most of their food.
Teresinha: ‘Bread has rescued my life’
“I remember going without food when I was a little girl. I was very poor. I remember that when I went to school, my family didn’t have any food to give me for lunch, just corn flour. I left school and started working when I was 12. I come from a region that had a lot of machismo and discrimination against women. Later, when I came to Sao Paulo, I worked and worked. I had no time to think of anything except how to earn enough money to buy food and have somewhere to live.
”That is why I started the Bread and Art project. I love making bread.
“The price of ingredients has gone up a lot, just recently. It’s too much. In the papers, you can read how Brazil is growing, but the truth is that people are living in misery. The problem is that most of our customers are linked to the Church and they don’t have a lot of money.
“With the Bread and Art project, I discovered that it wasn’t only about making bread. Inside this bread is a story, a story of the farm labourer who prepares the land, scatters the seeds and gathers the harvest to bring us flour. It is a story about dignity. There is a human being inside this bread. Bread is the essence of my life because it has rescued my life,” says Teresinha.
In Puentecitos, in El Salvador, CAFOD’s partner, JDS, works with a women’s bakery. Sibia Martínez is part of the group which makes large quantities of bread to sell.
“Last year, the ingredients for 100 rolls cost $5. This year they cost $7,” she explains. Of the ingredients they use, they grow rice, but the women have to buy wheat flour, milk, cinnamon, yeast and sugar. “We are overcoming the challenge of rising costs by making the rolls smaller!” says Sibia.
They also make quesadilla, a type of cheese tortilla. Last year, 12 trays cost $8 to make, while this year, the cost has risen to $12. Despite the costs going up, Sibia says that they sell the quesadilla at the same price as before. “We do this in solidarity as everyone is poor and cannot afford it,” she says.
Sibia says the bakery gives credit to people, giving them 15 days to pay. It also accepts things in exchange if customers have no money.
Bread-making has changed her life, says Sibia. “It’s made a big change because for the first time we have some savings which we re- invest to buy ingredients to make our bread.”
Are you hungry for change? Take action by e-mailing David Cameron now http://www.cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Take-action-today/Hungry-for-change