This spud’s for you

“JOIN IN!  It’s fun! it’s easy! and it’s good karma. Children are welcome to attend. Bring the family & friends,” suggests the S.P.U.D. Patrol Web site. S.P.U.D. is an acronym for “Serving Potatoes to Unrecognized Devas” (devas are angels), a pay it forward act inspired by motivational speaker Jeffrey Armstrong.

The idea is simple: Volunteers gather monthly (concurrent with the full moon) to pass out piping hot baked potatoes to those in need of a meal. S.P.U.D. Patrols currently work in Vancouver, Nanaimo and Victoria B.C., Canada, and in Asheville.

According to the organization’s Web site, “S.P.U.D. Patrol was started by Jeffrey Armstrong in 1977 in Santa Cruz California. At that time, the Reagan administration had cut funding to mental institutions drastically. The result was thousands of borderline mental patients being releasedfrom hospitals with no money, no medication, and nowhere to live.” Bothered by the situation, Armstrong decided to give away home cooked food. He realized that baked potatoes were simple and cheap (a spud with fixings cost only about 25-cents per person) and “Everyone loves baked potatoes!”

To learn more about S.P.U.D. Patrol, listen to an interview on Asheville’s Virato Live. To volunteer for this month’s event, held Saturday, Feb. 27, contact coordinators Chuck & Annette Hunner at 216-1422 or by email at

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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4 thoughts on “This spud’s for you

  1. Piffy!

    All locally grown, organic potatoes, right? Not that feeding the homeless little balls of toxic waste are we?

  2. Jeff

    This feeding of the homeless and hungry is wonderful work. I often pass through downtown on Sunday mornings and see the good work of people serving breakfast to the downtrodden.

    Bless you.

  3. I suppose high starch, low nutrition potatoes are better than nothing.

    And, seeing how this was inspired by a motivational speaker who says things about “the Divine,” it seems appropriate as well.

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