Loving Food Resources (LFR) was founded in November 1991 by three gentlemen living with HIV/AIDS who, along with their friends, had to choose between buying food or the costly medications to keep them alive. Based in the balcony of Cathedral of All Souls, LFR founders offered pre-packed groceries to 18 individuals. Within months, news spread of this small organization helping those with HIV/AIDS. The need for a larger space quickly became evident, and LFR rented a small building from Kenilworth Presbyterian Church in Asheville. 

In 1996, LFR expanded services to include individuals in Home Hospice Care regardless of diagnosis. Eventually, health and personal care items were offered to both groups in addition to food. In 2018-2019, LFR focused on expanding its services to the 18 counties of Western North Carolina. In collaboration with Western North Carolina Aids Project (WNCAP), LFR started to deliver food to clients in most counties of WNC. 

Since then, LFR has grown to serve approximately 100 clients per week. In the early days, volunteers packed boxes of food for clients to pick up; then LFR advanced from prepackaged boxes to client choice where clients could “shop” from shelves, coolers, and freezers—like a small grocery store. With the onset of COVID-19 in March of 2020, LFR had to return to prepackaged boxes which clients either picked up, or if they could not drive, were delivered to their residences. Each box averaged approximately 50 lbs. of items necessary to lead healthy lives. Today, with COVID restrictions eased, LFR plans to reopen (July 2023) its doors for client selection.

LFR has been an all-volunteer agency for over 30 years, and volunteers remain the heart and soul of our organization. More than 85 volunteers participate in LFR’s work. In 2015, the LFR Board of Directors made the crucial decision to hire its first Director to expand LFR’s impact, feed more people, and ensure the ongoing operation of its programs. Nancy Gavin began work as the first paid Director in June 2015; Ellen Anastos signed on to the position in 2017; and, Brent Wyatt was hired as the Executive Director in September 2019. Under Brent’s leadership, LFR continues to grow and serve more clients in the 18 counties of Western North Carolina.

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