12 Baskets Cafe

Simply by sitting and eating with someone you might otherwise never bump into:
Stereotypes are dismantled. Fear reduced. Hope empowered.


serving Times

Monday - Friday
11 am - 1 pm


Kairos West Community Center
610 Haywood Rd , West Asheville
(Entrance off of State St.)

Please use street parking. DO NOT park in the lot outside our entrance. The gravel space is reserved for food drop offs and the adjoining lot is for neighboring businesses. Help us to be good neighbors!

Important Update -
Letter from Shannon and API Board

August 29, 2019

Grace and Peace, Y'all,

His name is Koda. He’s a regular at the Café. In his late 20’s, Koda has experienced more heartache than most. Diagnosed with cancer at a young age, he married his best friend whom he met at the hospital while she was also receiving chemo treatments. It was her dream to have a wedding before she died, and he made that dream come true. Koda is homeless and one of the kindest humans you will ever meet. He struggles with addiction while also trying to care for everyone with whom he comes into contact.

Last week, when asking for a sewing kit to fix his backpack, he shared that he’d traveled all over but had never been anywhere like 12 Baskets. He said, “It’s like family here. I mean, y’all are the closest thing I have to family and if y’all ever need anything just let me know. I want to give back anyway I can.” It’s true. We are like family, and that includes you.

In many ways you and your support – prayers, donations, and presence – make this happen.

After operating out of the back of my van for nearly two years, we finally found a place at 610 Haywood Road in October 2016. Thanks to the partnership we have with Kairos West Community Center, we’ve been able to grow from 2 days a week, to 4, to 5 and even in the Spring to sharing table fellowship 6 days a week! It’s been quite a ride – meeting and sharing space with friends like Koda and many, many more.

After months of discussion, last week we learned that Kairos West will not be renewing the lease for our shared space at 610 Haywood Road. As the Cathedral of All Souls discerns the future direction of their outreach into the community, we are grateful for our partnership with Kairos. Kairos’ support has not only been spiritual but also financial, offering us a subsidized rental rate which has allowed us – as a small non-profit – to get off the ground. We will always be grateful for our partnership and look forward to the ways we will continue to work together.

The API board met last week and decided that beginning in November we will pick up the full lease for the basement of 610 Haywood Road. This will mean our monthly rental expense (including utilities) will increase from $800 to approximately $2500. This is a big jump for us, and so we need your support more than ever.

While this space works for us now, the API board is beginning to envision what the future may hold for API. Perhaps in the future we may purchase our own space that would better meet our goals in mission, or perhaps we can collaborate with another faith community and share space. Regardless, our diligent board is simultaneously committed to two things: 1) Raising enough support to continue the amazing work that is happening now at 610 Haywood AND 2) envisioning future possibilities that might include purchasing our own property.

You are needed – in whatever ways you can help. If you have the resources to share, please consider helping us continue and even grow the ways we rescue food, reduce waste, and ensure all of our neighbors have access to good food. We see over 500 folks a week! That’s a lot of new friendships that reduce fear and deconstruct stereotypes. Come and join us for lunch! Pray for our next steps! Share your hopes and ideas with us! Connect us to someone who might be interested in learning more. Your gifts, support, and engagement are important to us and truly make a difference!

We thank you. Koda thanks you. It takes a village…

In Deep Gratitude,
Shannon Spencer, Executive Director
and the API Board:
Samantha Gonzalez-Block
Missy Harris
Phil Leonard
Michael Poulos, Chair
Andy Thomas
Betsy Wilson


Folks from all walks of life are invited: those whose hunger is physical, those who hunger to belong, as well as those who hunger to help.

We, at API, hunger for community.

We share this feast Cafe style.

It is free.

Folks are are greeted and invited to the table. We welcome donations to help cover the cost of rent and materials.

12 Baskets Cafe receives donations of already prepared food from local business and food service industry, leftover food that would otherwise be thrown away. This quality food is pulled from nightly hot bars, buffets, displays in grocery stores, etc, and is picked up by an API companion and delivered to our Cafe to be re-purposed and shared.

Interested in getting involved?
Companion Orientation every Wednesday at 10:00 am at the Cafe.

In addition to helping at the Cafe, we are in need of people to help pick up and transport food from donors to the cafe throughout the week!


It is the time you have wasted

for your rose

that makes your rose

so important.                                      

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince