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Baskets of squash.

Just like a farmer's market, Bounty and Soul sets up baskets of fresh, healthy produce for participants to choose from. Food that would have been wasted gets used and food insecure people get fed the best produce in Buncombe and McDowell Counties. 

Bounty and Soul

Black Mountain, NC

Buncombe County

Increasing access to food is a popular project across North Carolina. In Black Mountain, one organization has been changing the way food distribution sites are set up and is giving people access to more than just healthy, local food. Bounty and Soul is a non-profit organization that provides free food and health and wellness classes to anyone in need in Buncombe and McDowell Counties. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, Bounty and Soul sets up their distribution sites at various locations throughout Buncombe County. Each day has a set location, rotating from an apartment complex on Monday, to a church on Tuesday, a middle school on Thursday, and an elementary school on Friday.


Bounty and Soul does their distribution a little differently than most food banks or food ministries. Bounty and Soul sets up their display like a farmer’s market. Tables are full of baskets overflowing with almost every type of fresh produce you could find at the grocery store. Seasonal fruits and vegetables make up most of the food given away, but partnerships with grocery stores have allowed Bounty and Soul to give away nonperishable goods, spices, and meat.


Not only does Bounty and Soul give a farmer’s market-like space, it provides free yoga, Zumba, cooking demos, and health and wellness classes before and after food pick-up begins. Bounty and Soul takes food distribution to the next level to provide healthy food, classes, and spaces for all people living in Buncombe and McDowell Counties.

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Minimizing food waste and giving people the best local food is a top priority for Bounty and Soul. Through partnerships with local gardens like The Lord’s Acre, New Sprout Organic Farms, and Barefoot Farms, Bounty and Soul can get the best locally grown produce into hungry people’s kitchens. Bounty and Soul also partners with MANNA FoodBank to receive most of their food and they also rescue food from Publix Super Markets, Walmart and Sam’s Club. Yoga classes are provided for free by the Yoga Service Movement program of Black Mountain.


What sets Bounty and Soul apart from other emergency food programs is their active engagement with the people they serve. Many people who receive food also volunteer to help with distribution set up. If a participant has a particular skill or is knowledgeable about a certain topic, they are asked to lead the rotating wellness classes or discussions during the week. Partnerships and networking go beyond businesses and organizations to make a program successful. Consider working with the people you serve to expand your program.




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