Thinking inside the box

Ready-to-heat meals at heart of hunger relief strategy

Roast chicken ready for prep in the Equal Plates kitchen/ Photos by Hanna Raskin
Roast chicken ready for prep in the Equal Plates kitchen/ Photos by Hanna Raskin
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A food distribution event was underway in Asheville’s Deaverview neighborhood, home to some of the city’s poorest residents, and two men walked out of the Community Center with plastic bags of puffy white hot dog buns tucked under their arms. Vinnie Grossi glanced their way as he piloted a cargo van through the mountainous neighborhood’s coiled streets.

“I remember as a child distributing so many surplus cakes and pastries,” said Grossi, who grew up riding shotgun in his father’s church ministry van, a vehicle not too different from the one he drives now. As a college student, he swung to the opposite extreme, cultivating organic plants in hopes of repairing the nation’s broken food system with wholesome vegetables instead of hand-me-down Hostess bread.

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