Break Description

A group of people being served a meal at Asheville Poverty Initiative

"The problem isn't that there's not enough. The problem isn't scarcity. The problem is that we're living in systems that operate out of a mentality of scarcity rather than recognizing the truth of abundance." - Dr. Shannon Spencer, Asheville Poverty Initiative founder

Since 2011, Asheville Poverty Initiative has been dedicated to building community and promoting economic justice. Their largest program, 12 Baskets Café, distributes free groceries twice each week. Every Monday and Thursday, it transforms into a free restaurant, serving meals sourced entirely from donated food that would otherwise have been wasted.

We'll prepare 12 Baskets to open to the public, take orders, bus tables, wash dishes, and clean up after closing. Just as importantly, we'll take time to enjoy the meal alongside the other guests. When we're not working in the café, there will be lots of other projects for us to take on. Depending on their exact needs this spring, we might do a deep clean of the facility, distribute flyers, or repaint floors or a fence.

In the evenings, we'll stay at Sweet Peas Hostel, in co-ed dorms alongside other travelers. We'll sleep in bunk beds and cook and eat our meals in the hostel's kitchen and common space.

Come examine how hunger can exist in the midst of abundance and how one amazing non-profit uses food to bring diverse people together and build a truly inclusive community.


JMU is a member of the University Global Coalition with the United Nations and is committed to achieving a better and more sustainable future as defined by the Sustainable Development Goals.

 1 - No Poverty. Individuals of various ages in white silhouettes against a red background 2 Zero Hunger - A white silhouette of steam rising from a bowl


Focus on: Empowering Vulnerable Populations

Community: Asheville, NC

Leaders: TBD

Cost: $350 (need-based scholarships available)

What type of travel will this break use? Domestic Driving

What kind of break is this? Spring Break

Departure Date: 03-09-2024

Return Date: 03-16-2024

What community partner will you be working with? Asheville Poverty Initiative

Currently Offered?: Yes

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