Food Not Bombs

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Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer collective dedicated to creating a world based on cooperation, sharing and sustainability. We see that there is plenty of food produced, but it is not distributed equitably. We recover healthful, nutritious, vegetarian food that would otherwise be discarded, and cook and serve it to people in immediate need. We are an alternative food distribution network intent on building a sustainable community food-sharing program.

Food Not Bombs was formed in Boston in 1980 by activists in the anti-nuclear movement. It has blossomed into a world-wide grassroots political movement of over 200 autonomous collectives, sharing our unifying principles of non-violence, consensus decision-making and vegetarianism.

East Bay Food Not Bombs started in February, 1991, with people from Seeds of Peace, Copwatch, and the Berkeley Free Clinic pitching in to get it going. We began serving food in People’s Park, Lafayette Park, and at anti-Gulf War rallies. By the beginning of that summer the Gulf War had ended, and all hell broke loose in People’s Park. That historic piece of land in Berkeley became our focus.

We still serve five days a week all year at People’s Park, in addition to two meals in Oakland. On Saturday, we do a food give away of our surplus food, and fresh-picked farmers market donations at Oldman’s Park at ~12th and Jefferson in Oakland.

By giving away free food in public, Food Not Bombs brings the hungry and poor into the public eye, calling attention to our society that spends billions on unconscionable wars, but fails to provide basic necessities to its members.

We cook in solidarity with other progressive groups at countless demonstrations, cultural events, and gatherings over the years, including recently, Anti-war efforts in the streets, CopWatch events, Biodiesel Collective Benefits, Reclaim the Streets, Mayday, Critical Resistance and events speaking to the insidious nature of the prison-industrial complex. Planners of the event will often ask us to provide snacks, a meal, or more. Sometimes, if there’s a demo for a cause that’s close to our hearts we’ll just show up with a pot of hot food or bagels and lemonade.

Starving artists, poor radicals, punks, homeless people, mothers with young children, college students, Berkeley tourists, and even local storekeepers eat with us. For more than twelve years East Bay Food Not Bombs has enjoyed the support of the community, and seldom has been hassled by the police.

-via the EBFNF Website