If distributed equally, the world produces enough food to feed everyone. There is an abundance of food. In fact, in this country, every day, in every city, far more edible food is discarded than is needed to feed those who do not have enough to eat.

The reason this is not already happening is no accident. We do not have a democratic say in how food is produced or distributed. People would certainly elect to eat. In hierarchical economies, the threat of the loss of a job allows owners to keep wages low. An underclass is the result of policies which encourage domination and violence. In our society, it is acceptable to profit from other people’s suffering and misery.

Poverty is violence. One expression of the violence of poverty is hunger. Millions of Americans, almost half children, go hungry every day and childhood malnutrition contributes heavily to infant mortality rates, which are higher in parts of the U.S. than in most other nations of the world. By spending money on bombs instead of food, our government perpetuates and exacerbates the violence of poverty by failing to provide food for everyone in need. Food Not Bombs has chosen to take a stand against violence. We are committed to nonviolent social change by giving out free vegetarian food thus celebrating and nurturing life.

Food Not Bombs was recently approached and asked to cook at the Arcata Endeavor on Saturdays where there is plenty of food that would otherwise go unprepared and unserved on weekends. This is in addition to FNB’s meals served throughout the week that are cooked in the homes of volunteers. It was discussed and decided that it would be tried.

For several months now, there has been healthy vegetarian food served at 1:00 pm on Saturdays at the Endeavor (at no extra cost to taxpayers), and there are still enough volunteers to prepare and serve dinner at 5:30 pm on the plaza. Many of the volunteers now cooking lunch at the Endeavor on Saturdays were not previously affiliated with Food Not Bombs.

These events make clear that the facilities exist for those in need to be given the opportunity to help themselves. Instead of acquiring large sums of money to study the obvious lack of basic necessities, and spending lots of money hiring people who reinforce the separations between service providers and service recipients, Arcata could allow the already existing facilities to be used by those who are willing to volunteer to provide services to themselves and others. The costs of operation (utilities, supplies) could be covered by the money saved.

Not only would this less-hierarchical approach save money, and time spent to acquire that money, but it would also set an example of this historically tested and trusted method of social planning that involves less professional authoritarianism, and the actual meeting of more needs. The D Street Neighborhood Center is a perfect place to open up. Currently is sits locked and empty most of the time.

The direct action of preparing and sharing meals helps to relieve some of the pressures that create tensions in our community. Healthy and nutritious meals provide relief from the immediate discomfort and anxiety of being hungry, and prevent the long-term negative effects of malnutrition. For those overwhelmed by the cost of living in today’s society, FNB’s free meals provide relief from the competition for ever more scarce dollars.

Preparing meals together is a good way to engage our innate ability to get along and work cooperatively to meet our common needs. By addressing the issue of hunger directly, FNB also demonstrates our ability to solve community problems from within the community.


9 Responses to “FOOD NOT BOMBS!”

  1. Nick Bravo Says:

    It’s great that FNB is doing that! Food deprivation is a method of social control and is done in many govt’s around the world. FNB is a credit to what is right and good in regards to this issue of food deprivation.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe if FNB followed the LAWS and PAID THEIR TAXES, we would care about them. I’m just glad they put saltpeter in the food for bums.

  3. Captain Future Says:

    Great post.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I cannot support FNB. Their food doesn’t taste good. I find better fare out back behind Arcata’s finer restaurants. Why can’t FNB recruit a chef or two?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I believe that what FNB does is admirable. But the capitalist system has extra food precisely because of the policies it follows, however much you might dislike them. No other economy type has produced so much surplus. But with capitalism come the slaves and the owners, that’s the system. I suppose we could all be Hunter-Gathers but that economy is prone to food shortages… alas.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    So if FNB feeds someone, they die, who goes to jail? Does an Angel gets it’s wings?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Why does FNB have to be gourmet? Recruit a chef or two? Please. The better the prep, the better tasting the food… but truly hungry folks aren’t complaining. You find food behind Arcata’s restaurants? And you’re not harassed by the storeowners/cops called on you or contending with locked dumpsters? I don’t believe it.

    I’ve participated in FNB (both prep & eating the food) in NYC, NJ, PA, CO, several locations in CA, OR, & WA on numerous occasions & never myself experienced illness nor has anyone else. This reminds me of the argument that if folks are allowed to dumpster dive all the good food that’s wasted, they’ll get sick or hurt & sue. Again, please. The bourgeois are so paranoid.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Oh yes, and surplus is one thing… but throwing away tons of perfectly good food on a daily basis is another. We live in a culture that’s obsessed with sterility. And as a result, we’re actually MORE vunerable to illness because less ability to fight off what we’ve likely never even remotely been exposed to. Again, I’ve never gotten sick from dumpstered food… not even sushi. I’ve found containers full of perfectly good salsa behind the Co-op (in the compost heap… didn’t know that plastic could compost as fast as veggies, did you?) that was several days past the date posted. Nothing wrong with it. My partner is a chef at a fine restaurant, & every Sunday they throw away an absolutely shameful amount of buffet food. I’m sorry, but there’s no excuse for this. None.

  9. Giselle62 Says:

    i just started reading all about Arcata in the last couple of days because I noticed some jobs open at the university…the town seems like a cultural mecca in my mind; (I’ve been unhappy in Central coast town last 6 years) but the issues seem very overwhelming. You have me thinking, and even wanting to help…

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