‘Loaves of Love’: Providing food, comfort for people during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Local News

WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Filling a need, and doing what she loves.

Dianna Wara started ‘Loaves of Love,’ on the front porch of her Washington home, to bring people food and comfort during the COVID-19 Pandemic. People walking, biking, and driving up to her home located at 617 Westminster Drive in Washington, just to get some of Dianna’s home-baked treats.

“It’s almost like a parade,” Wara says.

People line up, while socially distancing in her driveway, Wara brings the fresh bread and pastries right out.

“Cinnamon rolls!” one happy visitor says.

Wara was at the grocery store a week and a half before Gov. Pritzker’s ‘Stay-at-Home’ Order, and noticed empty shelves and no bread for families.

“I came across a younger woman, and she had two young kids in her cart. She couldn’t find a loaf of bread. You know she that loaf of bread to keep those kids going. It just kind of made me mad. So I went to the grocery store a few days later, same situation except with an older gentleman,” Wara said.

Wara is an award-winning baker. She decided to take her passion for baking, and help serve people fresh goods in Washington.

“I saw the want and need in our community and I thought ‘ya know, I’m high risk so I can’t get out and do things for other people. This is the way I can help them,” Wara said.

So far, Wara has made close to 500 loaves of bread and over 700 cookies for people to come enjoy, for no cost to themselves.

Everyone coming to the porch with smiles from ear to ear.

Kids coming with parents, learning selflessness and compassion.

“It’s the kids. It’s the kinds when they come up that step, you just see their face ‘mom, look at what’s here!’ And they’re so excited. I just love it,” Wara said.

Not only are Wara’s baked goods spreading throughout the community, but so is her mission.

“I had one parent text me back and say, ‘ya know, this is such a great thing you’re doing. My 20-year-old daughter has started to make bread now. How wonderful! If I can just touch the one person, that makes it worth it,” Wara said.

If you want to help Dianna, she says she’s good on the ingredients, but she says having another mixer would help her be able to pump more bread out for everyone.

Wara will post what goods she has on the ‘Washington Strong’ Facebook page. She says she works from 5:00 a.m. to noon baking and usually has them ready to go right at 1 p.m.

“Some breads take longer than others. I bake Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Thursday I usually have to go to the grocery store, and Friday I’m back at it. That way people have some comfort and love and a loaf of bread to get them through the weekend,” Wara said.

Wara can be reached at (309) 253-9330.

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