Our Tote Bag Program began with a simple idea from Amy and Emma. They (with help from their mom, Alison) founded Bake Me Home based upon their own love of baking and spending time together. They started the Tote Bag Program to help families leaving shelters celebrate the beginning of a new life in a new home. Amy and Emma delivered tote bags to the first shelter in October 2008, and today this program serves nearly 900 families per year from 17 agencies in four Ohio counties. To date, we have provided more than 6,600 Tote Bags to our Bake Me Home Families!
Click here to see who we've helped.
While their original idea began with a simple jar of homemade Bake Me Home Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, they quickly decided to add all the supplies needed to bake the cookies. This pile of goodies necessitated delivering them in a sturdy tote bag, hence the name for our program. A $10 gift card to Kroger was also added for the essential butter and eggs needed to complete the recipe and to purchase a few other groceries. Finally, a recipe booklet filled with low-cost, kid-friendly, nutritious recipes donated by the Nutrition Council of Greater Cincinnati and reprinted thanks to three generous grants from Magnified Giving is also included. The total cost for each of our Bake Me Home Tote Bags averaged about $25. Volunteers helped us fill all of our jars of cookie mix and assembled each Tote Bag.
Here’s what was in the bag:
- Jar of our homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
- $10 Kroger Grocery Store Gift Card
- Baking sheet*
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Family Cookbook
- Letter from the Cookie Girls
*not included in food pantry totes