The nonprofit FEAST, an offshoot of Slow Food Asheville, has a new home at UNC Asheville. Here are the details from the press release:
FEAST, a program that teaches kids about healthy eating and cooking, has a new office, appropriately at the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness.
The center, located on the campus of UNC Asheville, is a hub for state efforts to coordinate and promote healthy living among its residents. Recognizing that FEAST, a program of Slow Food Asheville, promotes the same things, the center offered it space in its new incubator designed to foster enterprises that encourage healthy choices among North Carolinians.
The space is available to FEAST rent-free for one year, said FEAST’s assistant director Nan Kramer. FEAST, currently working with students in four elementary schools, four middle schools and Pisgah View Apartments, teaches young people the joys and benefits of freshly cooked, nutritious food.
The office space will help consolidate a lot of FEAST’s efforts and resources, some of which have been scattered about town, Kramer said. For instance, supplies such as bowls, pans and cooking utensils that have been stored in volunteers’ homes will now have space on racks inside the FEAST office. Having everything in one place will help FEAST volunteers focus their work and save time, Kramer said.
“This is a big step for us moving forward,” Kramer, who studied health and wellness at UNCA, said. “Since FEAST is about local food and good health and sustainability, the center was excited for us to come.”
Being centralized in one location will help the program, now in its fourth year, move forward with applying for grants to underwrite its work, she said. And it will help with the little things that are helping the program succeed, such as having one location for the thank you notes that she writes to farms and businesses that donate food and cooking supplies.
In its new office, FEAST will have access to a teaching kitchen, as well as UNCA students who will volunteer to receive academic credit.
The office space comes at a good time for FEAST, which this fall takes over a student-planted and –tended garden at Vance Elementary School. FEAST will help students there plant and harvest the garden, as well as help them cook the produce. FEAST hopes to replicate the garden program at other schools in the future.
“This (office) will help us expand our programming and get into more schools,” Kramer said. And knowing they have the office for one year only will push volunteers to move FEAST to the next level, she said.
“This will help us stay on track,” she said. “Everything that is FEAST is in one spot.”