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Home baker delivers bread to neighbors for donations only

Trying to figure out what she could do to help, Melissa Jewkes found that baking bread for her neighbors was her best option.

AUSTIN, Texas — We're all looking for ways to help one another using our own special skills. One northeast Austin woman is using her skills in the kitchen to help people she didn't know before.

There was a time where neighbors knew neighbors, but as times have changed, so have we.

"I've been in this neighborhood for three, three-and-a-half years, and I only knew one of my neighbors by name, which sucks," Melissa Jewkes said.

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Jewkes felt like even though she didn't know her neighbors, she wanted to help them with the skills that she has.

"Luckily, since I was a baker, I'm a baker already, I had a good chunk of flour, yeast and things like that to start with," she said. "I guess I was just trying to figure out what I could do to help. You know, we're all tight right now, but we still have to help." 

So she decided to deliver her bread to her neighbors.

"I normally do cakes and cookies, but it's been heavy with bread and tortillas," she said. "I'm doing donation-based, so whatever that means for you is OK with me and if that means for free, that's totally fine with me. And I've done plenty of those so far."

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Delivering on her bike, Jewkes has no contact with her neighbors. And she found out that it's not only helping them, it's helping her!

"I had the flour that most people weren't able to find to go ahead and kickstart that, and I thought this is my way to help. And, to be honest, it's been helping me too. It keeps me busy, it keeps my mind busy so I'm not worrying," she said. 

And it's also helped her get to know her neighbors better than ever.

"Now it's like, I'm texting my neighbors, I know people by name. It's been so, so positive," she said. "It's been so great."

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