A basket of muffins might not change the world, but one man is proving it’s a good place to start.
Thaddeus Pinckney has spent half his life baking and donating muffins to those in need. A seemingly simple gesture, but to someone with an empty stomach, it could make a significant difference.
Pinckney, who many simply know as “the Muffin Man,” founded a non-profit organization years ago of the same name that’s dedicated to raising money to make muffins to donate to food pantries and food banks. The New Jersey native, who lives in Schenectady, is expanding from muffins to operating gourmet breakfast in bed delivery service to, of course, donate more muffins.
“The more money we collect for breakfast in bed, the more muffins we can donate,” said Pinckney.
He is kicking off his Breakfast in Bed service on Friday, Aug. 15, and will be delivering to everyone within the Spotlight News coverage area. The menu includes various egg sandwiches on a bagel, muffin or biscuit, along with indulgent muffins such as carrot cream cheese, iced lemon and berry blast. Breakfast juice standards are available, along with some cupcakes for those with a sweet tooth.
The highlight of the service though is the prepackaged breakfast boxes including an assortment of food following certain themes, such as the “Hangover Brunch” and “Parisian Love Affair.”
Breakfast boxes also include a complimentary edition of Spotlight News, along with a fresh flower and, for a limited time, a bottle of champagne.
A complete listing of all the items and boxes offered are on The Muffin Man’s Breakfast in Bed website at BreakfastInBedAlbany.org, which is also where customers place their order. All orders must be placed by noon the day before delivery.
Pinckney developed “The Muffin Man Gives” non-profit after getting a request in 2011 to donate muffins to an Arizona family in need. The parents just got new jobs after being unemployed for more than a year. Their paychecks would allow them to buy food in a couple weeks, but until their paychecks came through they had no money.
All the family ate for roughly two weeks were the muffins, he said.
“I sent them a dozen muffins, and they took a muffin each day and split it between five kids,” said Pinckney. “They didn’t even have money for the boxed macaroni and cheese.”
Pinckney, 37, did have a background in food before stepping into the role of muffin man, but not the baking element of it. He has a bachelor’s degree in food science from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Albany.
He was actually more familiar with Kool-Aid, but when he wanted to find something to do with all the leftover blueberries he was using to make a fruit drink, his pathway towards muffins began.
“It was only just to put the blueberries in the muffins, because I had all these blueberries leftover,” he said.
Some of the organizations receiving his muffins include The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in Latham, Our Lady of Fatima Food Pantry in Delanson and The Sojourn House and Hillside Ministries Food Pantry, both in Schenectady.
“Now, I really have fun giving to shelters in the Capital Region and across the country, and that is literally all I live for,” he said. “I found I am able to not only help others, but help myself.”