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Winterset bakery gives away free bread to honor late family member

The family-run bakery is sharing a taste of history with their community in honor of Memorial Day.

WINTERSET, Iowa — An Iowa family shared a taste of history with their community in honor of Memorial Day. 

The Sparks family, who runs The Bakery Unlimited in Winterset, hosted their 4th annual bread giveaway on Monday, handing out fresh loaves until they ran out around 3:30 p.m.

"We thought Memorial Day was the perfect day to do something like this because, you know, what more of an appropriate day than Memorial Day and what it stands for with all our veterans and all their sacrifices," said Katie Sparks, a manager at the bakery. 

The giveaway was inspired by Marcia Sparks, who used to make all of the bakery's goods by hand. 

In 2020, basic necessities such as milk, eggs and bread were hard to find in grocery stores due to the ongoing pandemic.

In response, Marcia did what she did best: bake. She gave away loaves of bread for free, providing an essential item to many families who were already struggling to make ends meet.  

Marcia passed away in Nov. 2020, but her family is still sharing her signature recipe with Winterset residents. 

"Every year, I get a whole bunch of folks that come and talk about how much they loved my mom, Marcia, and enjoy still tasting her fresh bread, even though she's not here on earth with us," Katie said. 

While anyone was able to take a loaf of bread, the bakery was also collecting free-will donations during the giveaway.

"The jar is there for those that are able and willing to give back," Katie said. 

In years past, those donations have been donated to the Winterset Food Pantry or the Puppy Jake Foundation, but the Sparks haven't decided where the money will go this year just yet. 

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