Those loaves of bread on supermarket shelves in New York and Pennsylvania in the "Monks' Bread" wrappers actually are baked by monks. It's not a marketing gimmick.

The bread is produced at the Abbey of the Genesee in Pifford, about 35 miles south of Rocheter.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Brother Anthony said some people come across Monks' Bread in stores conclude it's "just a handy name for a distributor to put on bread to be able to sell it."

But Brother Anthony said it's made by "real, true Trappist monks" in a monastery established in 1951.

A small bakery was opened in 1953 and a larger, state-of-the-art bakery replaced that in 1956.

The money generated by selling thousands of loaves of bread helps to support the monastery and the "simple, Christian life of prayer, spiritual reading and work."

In addition to selling bread through supermarkets, some Monks' Bread is donated to western New York charitable organizations.

The monks also sponsor monasteries in Brazil and Nigeria.

Brother Anthony said the bread is baked three days a week. The bakery usually produces between 35,000 and 40,000 loaves each week.

Monks' Bread is available in several varieties, ranging from white and whole wheat to raisin with cinnamon to sunflower with rolled oats.

For folks who can't find the bread in their local store, they can order online at monksbread.com.