Food Not Bombs

For years, I participated in a group called Food Not Bombs, which is organized based on the principle that food is a right, not a privilege. With over a billion people going hungry each day, how can we spend another dollar on war? Countless hours are spent trimming, cleaning, chopping, and creatively using food normally destined for dumpsters. Most importantly, participants of FNB spend time eating with and building community alongside the people we are serving.

In Kingston, we salvaged veggies from Food Basics and got tofu dogs and soy milk from Tara Foods, and bread from Pan Chancho. We pre-empted the need for dumpster diving by simply asking the produce manager for leftovers at the end of each week, and served the food we made to a small but loyal group every Sunday in Skeleton Park. During Buskers Festival I bottled homemade iced tea and gave them for free to tourists walking by, asking them to donate the money they may have spent on commercially prepared beverages to local panhandlers instead.

In Vancouver, the Food Not Bombs on Commercial Drive was a gathering place for local activists and punks, and along with the meal, boxes upon boxes of excess dumpstered produce and baked goods were made available for anyone who needed them.

In Poland, where food waste is far less prevalent, we went to the giant farmers market (where vegetables were sold in 20kg bags to local shop owners, grandmothers, and smaller market vendors) and weighed down a small hatchback with as many potatoes, carrots, cabbages, and turnip donations as we could possibly squeeze in! The rest we loaded into shopping carts and backpacks and brought back on the streetcars to the squat where we would sit around the firepit, drink beers and make giant vats of soup. We bring this soup down to the park and serve to the local homeless population. Leftovers and snacks from the process were consumed at the squat by the legions of travellers, punks, and students that flowed through the space daily.

As I traveled around the country, I found that Food Not Bombs was a perfect place to meet other socially conscious people and learn about the specific issues affecting their community. Take a look in your community for a way to get involved! You’ll learn lots of cooking skills, eat for free, and meet some interesting people.
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Food Not Bombs

categories: Food Not Bombs, Patches