Dave Charlton’s Favorite Food Project is Far From Business as Usual

by Monica Hoel

Dave Charlton is proud to say he’s been a dancing carrot. “I’ve been every one of those dancing vegetables.”

Let us explain.

Bounty and Soul volunteers danced as vegetables. Bounty and Soul volunteers danced as vegetables.Dave is Chair of the Board of Directors for an ambitious, creative, energetic, and thoughtful food program in Asheville called Bounty and Soul. This is no ordinary food distribution program. Each food box comes with a fresh flower and a “love note” of encouragement. Every week, they focus on a new recipe that uses the food found in that week’s box; everyone gets a little sampling of the dish and a copy of the recipe. The food is locally sourced, not only from area grocery stores but from community farms. And every distribution day includes a lot of fun: smiles, music, and yes, dancing vegetables.

With more than 450 volunteers, 44 farm partners, local grocery store partners, and 10 paid staff, Bounty and Soul is not only an exciting way to get food to those who need it; it also manages to accomplish many other meaningful goals. They collect food from grocery stores that would have gone to waste. They use vegetables from farmers that are not perfect enough for the grocery stores to buy, but are perfectly delicious. And by keeping all that food waste out of the landfills, they also reduce the amount of carbon emissions. “We have a truck that goes out 7 days a week to pick up food from grocery stores and farms.”

They also do classes and videos on nutrition and how to cook, prepare, and preserve food. “Education is a very important part of the program.”

Dave says the program is all about community. “We ask our participants what they want or need. The glue is that it is a little community in and of itself.”

Dave is retired from a career in telecommunications, but you’d never know he’s retired if you watched how hard he is working for Bounty and Soul. It is clear that he’s a human on a mission. “In Western North Carolina, one in four kids is food insecure. One in six households is food insecure. Unless you live in a really affluent suburban neighborhood, you can believe that food insecurity is around you. Our numbers quadrupled during the pandemic…and numbers are still double what they used to be.”

If you’d like to learn more about Dave’s work with Bounty and Soul, enjoy a conversation with him on the Duck Pond Wall podcast.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2057-kirk-candler-got-canned-by-trapezium-and-hes-very"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2311,1536/10436_image.rev.1635421081.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2311,1536/10436_image.rev.1635421081.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/png" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2311,1536/10436_image.rev.1635421081.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2311,1536/10436_image.rev.1635421081.png 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2311,1536/10436_image.rev.1635421081.png" alt=" Kirk Candler E&H Class of 1991 His likeness was recently featured on a craft beer can distributed by Trapezium Brewing in Pete..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2311,1536/10436_image.rev.1635421081.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2311,1536/10436_image.rev.1635421081.png 3x" data-max-w="2311" data-max-h="1536" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2057-kirk-candler-got-canned-by-trapezium-and-hes-very">Kirk Candler Got “Canned” by Trapezium (And he’s very honored!)</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kirk Candler has the face that launched a thousand beers.</span> <a href="/live/news/2057-kirk-candler-got-canned-by-trapezium-and-hes-very" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1756-despite-the-headlines-ed-davis-is-hopeful-about"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/9708_ed_davis.rev.1618447628.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/9708_ed_davis.rev.1618447628.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/9708_ed_davis.rev.1618447628.jpg" alt="Dr. Ed Davis, E&H Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="400" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1756-despite-the-headlines-ed-davis-is-hopeful-about">Despite the Headlines, Ed Davis is Hopeful About the Planet</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Dr. Ed Davis has been a professor at Emory & Henry for more than 30 years, and in that time he has cultivated a reputation for many things. He is known for having a great sense of comedic timing. He’s a stand-out stand-up bass player. He’s an accomplished gardener, a decorated academician, an author of multiple books, and he is one of the country’s leading experts on collard greens.<br/><br/>Also, he’s a committed conservationist. <a href="/live/news/1756-despite-the-headlines-ed-davis-is-hopeful-about" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>