12 Baskets update

Hey Y’all!

Sorry for not posting in awhile.  The reason being I’ve been pouring a lot of my free time into my application for Louisville Seminary’s Marriage and Family Therapy program!  I’m really hoping that will be my next step once my time as a YAV is over so prayers would be appreciated.  Now about 12 Baskets!

12 Baskets Cafe was recently featured on a local news station which you can see HERE.  It was great publicity for us and we have been getting so much positive feedback from the Asheville Community.

One thing that has been overwhelming to me is seeing just how much food we save from the trash.  The same food that we serve at the cafe to build relationships.  It’s been amazing to see our community at 12 Baskets growing and coming together.  On any day we serve between 35 and 60 people.  Not all of them are living in poverty, not all of them can donate time or money to the space, but every single one of them is a beloved child of God and is welcomed into the Cafe with a smile.  Everyday we serve something different and every day our menu changes multiple times.  That’s the thing about serving rescued food, the popular items go fast and we don’t always have enough of one thing to serve it all day long.  The four things that we ALWAYS have enough of is Chicken Tikka Masala, rice, Naan and bread.  

The reason we have so much of these first three items is easy to explain; we pick up from two Indian buffets in town and those three items are very popular.  However when it comes to bread, we usually get 4-6 big boxes from a grocery store that are full of different kinds of bread. Baguettes, bagels, muffins, walnut bread, cinnamon swirl bread, sourdough, wheat, 12 grain, hawaiian, peasant bread, you name it.  We have learned that the industry over produces bread because consumers are picky when it comes to bread. We want fresh, we want new, we want soft, we don’t want leftovers.  

After growing up in the church I’ve come to see bread as the body of Christ.  We have boxes of the body just sitting in the cafe for our guests to go through.  What I can’t stand is the contrast of the industry making an excessive amount of the body of Christ and how little Jesus we see on a daily basis. I’m not talking literal depictions of Jesus.  I’m talking how little we see of what Jesus stood for.  Being counter-cultural, hanging out with the people who are outside of society, and showing love to EVERYONE no exceptions!  We try to embrace this Jesus narrative at 12 Baskets and I am trying to embrace this narrative throughout my year in Asheville.  It’s easier said than done but at least trying to live with that sort of intentionality is a step along the way.

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At 12 Baskets, one of our challenges has been figuring out what to do with our leftover food.  We don’t want to cool it a second time and heat it up a third time because it hurts the integrity of the food.  We have built a relationship with a Boys & Girls Club down the street from us and we give them our leftovers because they can use it that same day.  But one day I was joking with Shannon, my boss, about how we shouldn’t be surprised that we have leftovers because we are named after leftovers! (Mark 6:43)

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Grace and Peace y’all.  Thank you all so much for your support!

Andy

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