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Nonprofit partners with Panera Bread to host Bakers-In-Training kids program

Kids display the cookies they made during a 90-minute class on how to bake pastries.

Local nonprofit Fresh Start Surgical Gifts last week partnered with Panera Bread to host Bakers-In-Training a program designed to inspire kids with the art of baking. 

Bakers-In-Training happened at Panera Bread inside Westfield North County on August 14 and benefited children in the Fresh Start program affected by physical deformities.

Fresh Start is dedicated to transforming the lives of disadvantaged infants, children and teens with physical deformities including common conditions that cause low self-esteem through the gift of reconstructive surgery and other healthcare services. Through Bakers-In-Training, Fresh Start patients have the opportunity to unite and build friendships among other kids with similar issues outside the surgical setting they’re used to.

“All of our patients are children that have gone through multiple surgeries for the majority of their lives,” said Fresh Start CEO Shari Brasher. “They spend a lot of time in surgery, so we want to give them the opportunity to just be kids for a day in a fun and creative atmosphere.”

Child attendees enjoyed a 90-minute class on how to bake pastries taught by a professional baker. They put on their own baker’s hats and decorated their own cookies. About 15 Fresh Start patients under 15 attended. 

Fresh Start is currently accepting children with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse or disease into its medical program. Fresh Start also treats common conditions, including but not limited to: scars or birthmarks, misshapen ears and Strabismus (crossed eyes). There is no waitlist for local patients. 

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Young bakers learn about making pastries.

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