Grassroots Aid Partnership mobilizes to provide free meals

HELPING HANDS: Grassroots Aid Partnership, with assistance from Soul and Soil Project, is preparing and distributing free meals from a mobile kitchen parked at Dr. Dave's Automotive on Haywood Road in West Asheville. Photo by Ernesto Borges

The Grassroots Aid Partnership is a national nonprofit created in 2018 that provides meals at the sites of natural disasters. As co-founder, Asheville resident David Anderson has responded to hurricanes, fires and floods around the country. But his response to the COVID-19 pandemic was to set up a mobile kitchen in his own backyard — at the site of one of his businesses, Dr. Dave’s Automotive in West Asheville.

“I got involved with disaster relief in 2017 through the Dr. Bronner’s soap company,” he says. “They set up a kitchen in Florida after Hurricane Irma. By being the guy who can fix generators and run trucks, I found there was a need for people who can handle logistics, and I can do that.”

In addition to Dr. Bronner’s, GAP is also supported by philanthropic partners including Organic Valley food company, which donated the mobile kitchen now parked at Dr. Dave’s. “The big truck can serve 2,000 meals a day,” Anderson says. “This one is capable of 200 a day.”

With the intention of helping fill the food gaps for the newly unemployed and families who have lost access to school meals, the GAP kitchen opened its window on April 3 and plans to serve free meals every Friday through Sunday, 4-7 p.m. The kitchen has partnered with the local Soul and Soil Project farm to source fresh, organic produce and coordinate volunteers to prepare, package and serve the meals.

“Once we have systems and capabilities established, we plan to add more days and possibly other locations, such as health care facilities,” says Anderson. “We’d love to see some local restaurants and food trucks get involved. We have a lot of equipment, can set up anywhere and have plenty of opportunities to serve.”

For updates on where and when GAP will be serving, look for Grassroots Aid Partnership – GAP on Facebook.


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About Kay West
Kay West was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, StyleBlueprint Nashville, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. To kick off 2019 she put Tennessee in her rear view mirror, drove into the mountains of WNC, settled in West Asheville and appreciates that writing offers the opportunity to explore and learn her new home. She looks forward to hiking trails, biking greenways, canoeing rivers, sampling local beer and cheering the Asheville Tourists.

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