Covid Cookie Challenge Brings Unexpected Tidings

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Did someone say cookies? ‘Tis the season for cookies, even though many holiday cookie parties have been cancelled because of Covid-19 related concerns. But Americans are resilient, and they love to improvise.

Our holiday hats off to two dads in Huntingdon, Pa., who engaged in a bake-off to fend off those Covid-19 blues.

They actually started this deal in April, but they would incrementally be joined by more than 100 people in their community. All of the amateur bakers embraced their concept and paid it forward by baking and delivering cookies each week to essential workers at hospitals, fire departments and grocery stores.

It grew from there as well, as a small-town random act of kindness caught wings in other communities.

The movement started when Scott McKenzie, 58, was furloughed from his job at Juniata College, a local liberal arts school, because of the pandemic. Faced with sudden down time, he made a list of things to do that were outside his comfort zone. Baking cookies from scratch was at the top of his list.

“I made an absolute mess of the kitchen, but the cookies were actually pretty good,” he told the Washington Post.

Enter his friend, 42-year-old Jeremy Uhrich. After McKenzie posted cookie pictures on Facebook, Uhrich, a middle school English teacher, praised McKenzie’s efforts, but said he could do better.

From then, it was Game On!

They then created a Facebook group called “Cookies for Caregivers.” Within a few days, over 100 members were in the mix, leading more and more people to join the cooking bakeoff movement.

There are no losers in this contest.

More than 13,000 cookies have now been delivered to essential workers.

“We blinked twice and we’re now 35 weeks in, and we have delivered just slightly below 1,300 dozen cookies,” McKenzie said. “We’ve had chocolate chip, sugar, butterscotch, snickerdoodle, cupcakes, fudge, peanut butter blossoms,” said Uhrich. “As far as cookies go, you name it, we’ve delivered it.”

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