My Story

As a teenager, I worked at Bassett’s Original Turkey in the mall food court, and it was this part-time job that spurred my interest in community food security. Every night as I closed that kitchen, I threw away whole loaves of fresh bread, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and, of course, lots of turkey. Because I also regularly volunteered at a local soup kitchen, I was struck by the absurd simultaneity of food waste and hunger. I began taking these leftovers to a nearby shelter, and over the next 20+ years, my interest in food recovery has persisted and developed into my primary area of research and activism. In addition to community food security, I’m also interested in mental health, since much of my clinical practice centered on supporting people with severe and persistent mental illness. In the classroom, this has translated into research about how mindfulness and techniques from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can support students in the field and throughout their careers.

Sarah Himmelheber
Formal Garden in bloom


  • B.A. in Political science and Sociology, New College of Florida
  • M.S.W. University of Georgia
  • Ph.D. in Social Work , University of Georgia

Research Interests

  • Community food security
  • Intersections between the social and natural environments
  • Mindfulness practice

Courses Taught

  • SWK 2100: Skills of Helping Others
  • SWK 3100: Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • SWK 4350: Field Education Seminar (Capstone)

Crews and Other Activities

  • Supervisor of Social Work Internships
  • Council on Social Work Education, member
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker, State of North Carolina

Contact Dr. Himmelheber

(828) 771-3021
Boon 213
WWC CPO 6045

PO Box 9000

Asheville, NC 28815-9000
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