Hilfe & Kontakt

Food Not Bombs Still Feeding the Hungry

Von: Dan Clore (clore@columbia-center.org) [Profil]
Datum: 30.05.2010 03:26
Message-ID: <4C01BEB0.2080408@columbia-center.org>
Newsgroup: soc.rights.human alt.politics.socialism alt.politics.radical-left alt.activism alt.society.anarchy alt.anarchism alt.fan.noam-chomsky alt.politics.libertariantalk.politics.libertarian
News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

Food not Bombs still helping feed hungry
May 27, 2010
By Gonzalo Vizcardo

This past Monday, Food not Bombs, the international anti-hunger movement
started in Cambridge, Mass., celebrated its 30th anniversary. Around the
world, over 400 autonomous, all-volunteer Food not Bombs chapters,
including over 200 in the United States, collect food that would
otherwise go to waste  whether through donations from grocery stores,
bakeries, etc., or salvaging it from dumpsters or other ways  and
provide free meals in public places.

It seeks to highlight how hunger can persist amid vast wealth,
especially when so much of it is directed toward destructive purposes
like war, and the group argues that food is a right, not a privilege. By
using food that would otherwise go to waste, Food not Bombs tries to
bring attention to the pervasive waste of food around us that could be
feeding the hungry. A May 2008 United Nations report estimated that
American consumers and retailers throw away $48 billion worth of food
per year. Timothy Jones, an archeologist at the University of Arizona,
puts the figure at around $100 billion.

In February 2006, inspired by the original Cambridge Food not Bombs, as
well as Florida Food not Bombs chapters in Gainesville and Orlando, some
friends and I decided to start a chapter of our own. We began
dumpster-diving and collecting food donations and holding public
feedings at the gazebo at Stranahan Park in front of the main library in
downtown Fort Lauderdale every Friday at 4 p.m. While small at first,
more and more people began showing up, either asking for food or with
food donations.

As has been the experience of several Food not Bombs chapters across the
country, the city government eventually tried to shut us down. On July
27, 2007, a Fort Lauderdale police officer informed us that providing
"social services" in city parks without a permit violates a city
ordinance, and that if we did not leave, we would be arrested. We left,
but the following Friday, Aug. 3, after an outpouring of community
support where over 100 people showed up with banners and instruments,
the city backed down, alleging that no such arrest threat had been made
the week before and that we were welcome in city parks.

Later, as the "Great Recession" unfolded, we began seeing more people
asking for food, including newly laid-off and even homeless former
professionals. This highlighted the fact that even though the city had
tried to shut us down, it had inadequate resources to help its indigent
population. Indeed, Broward County built a homeless shelter a few years
ago, only after a landmark lawsuit that prohibited the police from
arresting the homeless if no shelter was available.

We continue to serve free meals every week, but still hope and work for
a world where our services are not needed. Until then, this and every
Friday, we invite you to join us, with food donations or just your appetite.

Gonzalo Vizcardo, a founding member of the Food not Bombs Fort
Lauderdale chapter, lives in Boca Raton.

Dan Clore

New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
My collected fiction: _The Unspeakable and Others_
Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
in charge on this island?
Professor: Why, no one.
Skipper: No one?
Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
-- _Gilligan's Island_, episode #6, "President Gilligan"

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