I’ve never baked a challah, or any bread for that matter and the only braiding I’ve done is with yarn or hair. And I was never very good with hair, preferring barrettes and headbands for my daughter when she was small.
A local bakery donated the prepared dough. Various groups from synagogues, schools and community organizations volunteered for one of nine 45-minute shifts throughout the day. We had to remove all jewelry, don hairnets, plastic aprons and gloves before entering the challah room, created at the Community Food Bank for this purpose. Seven football fields long, the food bank services much of the state and looked like a combination of an Amazon/Costco/IKEA warehouse. We were warned to look out for moving forklifts and other vehicles as we walked through the cold halls to the challah room, which in contrast was moist and warm. About 30 of us, including a group of high school students, each braided about five or six challahs in the given time.
It felt good to do a bit to alleviate hunger in New Jersey.