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Food Not Bombs launches free community meal in the County

Food-not-BombsThe first Food Not Bombs ‘Free Food for All’ Community Meal is being served in Benson Park Sunday, Aug. 11 from noon to 2p.m. in Picton – weather permitting.

“Everyone is invited, and if you can bring your own plate, cup and cutlery, that would be helpful,” says one of the organizers, Christine Renaud.

Hri Neil will be spinning tunes in the park for the day, and there are plans to hold a “Really, Really Free Market” as well. The “Really, Really Free Market” encourages people bring a box of good quality things to give away and people can take what they like or need.

Renaud explains Food Not Bombs is a group of independent collectives around the world that serves free, healthy vegan food through community meals in public spaces. It is not a charity, but a social movement. The sharing can also be in the form of distribution of free food to take away.

“The Food Not Bombs ideology is that many corporate and government priorities are skewed to allow hunger to persist in the midst of abundance. To demonstrate and counter this (and to reduce costs), as much as possible, the food served by the groups is surplus from grocery stores, bakeries, and markets that would otherwise go to waste,” says Renaud.

“Many people have too many of certain vegetables or fruits in their backyard gardens as well and we would be happy to pick up anything that people would like to donate to the community meals. We’re especially looking for tomatoes for this meal on August 11th.”

Thanks to the Prince Edward Learning Centre, FNB has freezer space to preserve the harvest.
“This is such a great help, and we’re so thankful to have the people at P.E.L.C. involved,” says Renaud.
The group has already received vegetables from Vicki’s Veggies and worked to preserve it with students at P.E.L.C.
The Food Not Bombs movement is also about building inclusive community by creating opportunities for people with diverse backgrounds to share a free meal.

A new report by researchers at the University of Toronto shows that almost four million Canadians are struggling to put the food they need on the table because of food insecurity (http://www.news.utoronto.ca/almost-4-million-canadians-struggle-find-food). This is not due to natural scarcity, but due to societal and political structures.

“Most of us know that in our own community, many families struggle to put healthy food on the table,” says Renaud.
This is a topic that has been discussed at the County of Prince Edward Public Library’s Social Justice Group meetings and where the thought of starting a FNB group emerged.

“Community meals shared together by those with limited access to healthy food and those privileged with ample access to healthy food connects people and encourages dialogue, which is essential in creating positive social change.”

All FNB groups are autonomous, but there are three principles that the groups adhere to: 1) Food is always vegan and free to everyone without restriction 2) Food Not Bombs has no formal leaders or headquarters, and every group makes decisions using the consensus process 3) Food Not Bombs is dedicated to nonviolent direct action and works for social change.

“Some may wonder why the FNB meals are vegan,” says Renaud. “Aside from supporting a dedication to non-violence toward all living things, the potential for problems with food spoilage are greatly reduced when dealing strictly with plant based foods.
If you are interested in learning more about the movement, or contributing in any way to FNB or the day’s activities, please contact Christine Renaud at 613-476-9141 or by e-mail at: pec.foodnotbombs@gmail.com. There is also a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FoodNotBombsPec

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  1. Hannah says:

    Is this about feeding the County’s poor or educating them as well? Is it about homelessness, war, poverty, health care and so on like the movement in the States?

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