By Paul Cifonelli
For the last 18 years, Chet Fery has been impacting lives in the greater Brockport community. He is not conventional with how he goes about impacting lives. Instead of donating money to charity or working at soup kitchens, Fery bakes bread and gives it to people.
Over the course of his life, Fery, also known as “The Breadman”, has baked and given away over 90,000 loaves of bread. Fery has never accepted money in return for bread he gives to people. Some of these loaves he bakes randomly and bring to local businesses for the workers to enjoy. Others he brings to his “bread talks”, which are what he calls his motivational speeches.
Fery says that he likes to tell stories at his “bread talks” from his previous experiences.
At these “bread talks”, Fery speaks about kindness, companionship and happiness. He gives anecdotes from his previous “bread talks” that have stuck with him. He also teaches everyone in the audience how to make bread and then also gives everyone in the audience a loaf of bread. When preparing for a “bread talk”, Fery makes sure that he knows how many people will be in the audience so nobody leaves empty handed.
Fery says his “bread talks” are what keep him going. Seeing the audience members smile when they receive their loaf of bread gives him happiness and reminds him that he is making a difference. Fery says his main goal is to spread kindness through bread.
In a world where crimes and violence dominate the news, someone like Fery provides for a nice break from the negativity. Baking bread is a very simple task, but to bake it in the quantities he does and give it all away is something that is done out of the kindness in his heart.
The photos in the slideshow were taken by Paul Cifonelli, Alaina Jonathan, Hannah Danielski and Bridgette Babb.