CHICAGO (CBS) — Molly Herron is a social worker by day and a master baker at night.
“Baking is absolutely a passion of mine,” she told CBS 2’s Jim Williams.READ MORE: Chicago Police Union President Estimates More Than 3,000 Officers Defying City's Vaccine Reporting Mandate
While one wouldn’t know it by looking at her ease in the kitchen, or by looking at her delectable creations, but Herron says baking a good pie is far from easy.
“It’s really complicated, and chemistry is really part of pie,” she said. “Easy as pie is a misnomer. Pies are hard.”
That hard work pays off for her family and for a charity that feeds many others.
Julie Vassilatos is founder of the South Side Pie Challenge. For 10 years now, bakers like Molly Herron have put their skills to the test to raise money for the Hyde Park-Kenwood Hunger Programs.
“I think most people aren’t aware how big a problem food insecurity is,” said Vassilatos.
In Chicago, it affects one in five children.
“With the pandemic this problem came much closer to home for a lot of people,” said Vassilatos.
After years of competing indoors, bakers will face off outdoors on Saturday in Nichols Park in Hyde Park.READ MORE: Chicago Firefighter Fired Over Racist Social Media Posts; City Worker Reprimanded For Bringing Gun To O'Hare
Judges will pick winners in four categories: fruit, sweet potato, pumpkin, and nut and cream pies.
Pies then go on sale to support the charity.
Jan Deckenbach runs the Hyde Park Kenwood Food Pantry–one of the beneficiaries. She says the timing of this year’s event couldn’t be better.
“Now that school’s back in session, and payments from government and unemployment are winding down, people have more expenses and more families are coming to back to the pantry,” Deckenbach said.
Organizers say there’s another benefit: showcasing a part of Chicago that’s often maligned–the city’s South Side.
“I don’t think it’s a full picture unless you really know about the families and the community and the parks and churches and the Girl Scout troops,” said Deckenbach.
And generous bakers, like Molly Herron, measuring and mixing for a good cause.
“If this passion of mine can put some food in other people’s mouths and lets them know–‘Dinner, I don’t have to worry about’–that’s huge.”MORE NEWS: Group Robs Three 7-Eleven Stores Within 30 Minutes Downtown
Herron is a former grand prize winner of the South Side Pie Challenge. She and the other bakers will sell their pies at 2 p.m. Saturday at Nichols Park.