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Free meals serve up ‘community’ on the side

food-not-bombsMeals with a healthy serving of community are under way for another year in Prince Edward County.

Food Not Bombs, a 30-year-old volunteer grassroot movement started by anti-nuclear activists in Massachusetts, has become a popular community building group in Prince Edward County that includes free meals and food sharing, crafting, family events and clothes swaps.

“Food Not Bombs (FNB) is a not a charity, but a movement with chapters around the world,” said Christine Renaud, one of the organizers. “It aims to build community across divides, foster mutual aid and serve as an example of how things could be by ‘creating a new world in the shell of the old,’ as a related saying goes.”

PEC Food Not Bombs organizers are planning monthly free meals and food sharing on the first and third Wednesday of each month, along with a special community meal and clothes swap the second Sunday of each month beginning in February. All events are at the Picton Town Hall, above the firehall on Ross Street. Free upcoming Wednesday meals are on Jan. 21, Feb. 4 and Feb. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“There will also be a crafting table and board games to play, so even if people may not feel like eating, they can come have fun,” said Renaud. “A non-perishable free food exchange is being set up as well, and everyone is welcome to bring and take.  Those who happen not to have anything to bring on a particular week are welcome to take what they need, nonetheless. ”

On the second Sunday of each month, starting Feb. 15, there will be an all-day family event with brunch from 11 a.m. to noon and snacks all day, plus a clothes swap (those who bring clothes must take back what is not swapped), crafting, and an all ages dance party with music courtesy of DJ Ombudsman.

The popular Really, Really Free Market of goods that was held before Christmas by FNB, is also expected to return a few times a year in 2015.

“In doing this, FNB not only feeds people who need access to food – though, for sure, we hope some who might be in need will come out to meals,” said Renaud, “but also works to create an environment where an inclusive, resilient community around issues of food and justice can thrive.”

For more information, or to get involved with FNB, e-mail: or like the page on facebook at

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  1. Marc says:

    Is there an award that the Food Not Bombs group could be nominated for? What a fantastic group of people. Free food, and now take-home free food and a clothing swap. They even had free xmas gifts for those who have little. They are some of the best people in the County. Huzzah!

  2. Christine Renaud says:

    Thanks so much for the coverage! looking forward to seeing lots of folks out on Wednesday!

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