Stop Gap: Food Not Bombs and others fight hunger
[vegetarian food relief fighting hunger, part I]
FOR A GRASSROOTS TRANSFORMATION
Food Not Bombs is committed to a vision of society that is motivated by love and sharing, not violence and greed.
Food Not Bombs was formed in Boston in 1980 as an outgrowth of the anti-nuclear movement. Activists operate upon the primary belief that society and government should value human life over material wealth--concluding that many of the problems in the world stem from this simple crises in values. The key word here is "operate"--armchair philosophers these FNB people are not. Food Not Bombs puts its beliefs out on the street, in your face; and this very visibility is one of the main tenets of its self-styled identity.
In critical localities throughout the nation, over 70 autonomous chapters (a loose knit group of independent collectives) regularly set up operations in public places in order to give away free vegetarian surplus food--that would have otherwise been wasted--to people in need.
Hungry people get fed, which for the individuals who are helped, this may be all that matters; but beyond this, the public display serves to dramatically reveal the pervasive crisis of hunger in our nation. In this way, Food Not Bombs protests the violence of poverty, as well as other types of violence, in the face of waste and injustice.
As one of the fastest growing grass roots political groups in North America, Food Not Bombs serves thousands of meals each week throughout North America and Europe. In addition, Food Not Bombs is dedicated to vegetarian as well as organic food, and therefore thoroughly lives its non-violent stance. Its actions automatically call into question a commercial food industry predicated on violence as it slaughters billions of animals every year while poisoning the environment with chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Indeed, the group is committed to the use of non-violent direct action to transform society from the ground up. Food Not Bombs believes that when it feeds people, who would otherwise go hungry, with food that would otherwise have been thrown away, outdoors, in public view, it is calling attention to the failure of society to support its own citizens within, while going about funding the outward forces of war and violence--including the police who often try to stop the group from operating. It believes that by working today to create sustainable institutions, beginning with the simple vital sustenance of a lentil soup, hope is there to create for tomorrow the kind of vital and caring society we all want to live in.