Homework Diners

*UPDATE: In light of the changes made throughout our school systems to maintain safety during the threat of COVID-19, Homework Diners are no longer taking place in the format that they formerly were (weekly, in-person within the school cafeterias). We are currently working on pivoting Homework Diners to support students and families through student learning pods and engagement markets in partnership with the school districts, Buncombe County Government, and community partners. We will update this page as more information is available.



Homework Diners in Asheville and Buncombe County

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County launched Homework Diners in November, 2016. Homework Diners are a dynamic, comprehensive strategy that surrounds students and their families with a continuum of coordinated supports including: academic support, opportunities to build parent-teacher relationships, a free and nutritious meal, connections to community resources volunteer engagement and family leadership. Homework Diners replicate a proven, well-documented model shown to be successful in building connections between parents, teachers, students and community resources. 

Shifting Strategy for Safety...

Before COVID-19, Homework Diners were taking place weekly (except on school holidays or early release days) at four Community Schools in Western North Carolina-- Asheville, Enka, Erwin, and Owen Middle Schools. Families gathered in the cafeteria during the scheduled time each week to share a meal, meet teachers, fellow parents, family members, and school faculty. Homework Diners have been open to any family with a K-12 student in the surrounding school district. We are currently working on pivoting Homework Diners to meet students and families in a different way for the current school year.


How You can Get Involved 

LEARNING PODS: If you're healthy, low-risk and able, volunteer in-person and support students through Learning Pods OR lend a hand safely from home by putting together care kits that support students and families. 

ENGAGEMENT MARKETS: We partner with Buncombe County Government to offer no-contact food box pickup outside of Homework Diners. These occur once a month at Enka Middle, Erwin Middle, and Isaac Dickson Elementary. Learn more about volunteering at a market HERE. Explore an updated list of meal-sites throughout the county HERE or by calling 211.

EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT: Our Community Schools and education partners are looking for volunteers to support in-person, remote, and virtual learning opportunities. Learn more through our volunteer center Hands On Asheville-Buncombe HERE.


Integrating Community Partners

Our organization as well as the community partners involved in the Asheville Buncombe Youth Development Network are embedding as many community-building elements into Homework Diner offerings as possible.

We collectively have done this by:

  • Contracting with local providers to serve families a healthy meal.
  • Providing stipends for local teachers who are interested in providing homework help/tutoring for students outside of the classroom
  • Providing homework help/tutoring for parents so they learn how to better help their kids at home
  • Partnering with local service providers and businesses like OnTrack Financial Education and Self Help Credit Union to provide classes around budgeting, financial planning, and home ownership
  • Enlisting help from local health providers to share preventative education programs and health screenings
  • Have questions? Contact Community Partnerships Manager Sarah Roth at sarah.roth@unitedwayabc.org 

DONATE: Help support this work and allow us to continue to grow this program throughout Asheville and Buncombe County schools. DONATE to United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.

* Homework Diners are funded in part by a grant from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and sponsorship from Arby's Foundation and the Brumit Restaurant Group.