Small bites: Outbreak affects food orgs

TAKEOUT: Local restaurants and pantries are responding to COVID-19 with new initiatives and plans for serving Asheville. Photo by Getty Images

To-go orders only, please

On March 16, Buncombe County government held a press conference to address its current response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), following the first reported case in Buncombe County. Fletcher Tove, public health emergency preparedness coordinator at Buncombe County Health and Human Services, requested that all restaurants limit their services to takeout only. While restaurants were not legally mandated to comply at that point, Gov. Roy Cooper ordered an end to dine-in service as of 5 p.m. on March 17. (For additional, nonfood-related  information, see “State, local governments respond as Buncombe’s first contact with the disease is confirmed,” March 16, Xpress.)

Free bagged lunches for kids

Baked Pie Co. is offering free bagged lunches for children Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Lunches include a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread, an apple (courtesy of Creasman Farms), milk and a Baked Pie Co. cookie. To learn more — including how you can donate to this initiative — visit

Baked Pie Co. is at 4 Long Shoals Road, Arden and 50 Merrimon Ave., Woodfin

Ensuring food security

The YMCA of Western North Carolina continues to operate its mobile food markets, offering prepackaged bags for those facing food insecurity. Scheduled market sites are available at With North Carolina public schools currently closed, the nonprofit is also working with local school systems to deliver food to children in need. Take-home dinners for Buncombe County Schools students are available for pick up 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday at Oakley, Estes, Black Mountain, Pisgah and West Buncombe elementary schools. Residents who are quarantined and in need of food resources should call 828-775-7081. To learn more, visit

Free delivery

Roman’s Deli & Catering announced on March 16 that it is offering free delivery for the next two weeks on all orders made through the platform

Roman’s Deli & Catering is at 75 Haywood St. 


#AshevilleStrong is an online movement created recently by Bright Planning founder Catherine Campbell to support the local service industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are encouraged to buy gift cards from the more than 50 bars, restaurants and cafes listed on the website. To support and learn more, visit

Asheville Poverty Initiative serves free takeout

Asheville Poverty Initiative has temporarily canceled all community programs and gatherings, including 12 Baskets Cafe. The nonprofit will continue to provide free takeout meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Community members are invited to bring empty containers to the community space at 610 Haywood Road. Orders will be placed outside the center; residents will not be permitted inside. For more information, visit

Updated March 18 at 5:37 p.m. to reflect the current legality of dine-in service.


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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