Worldwide activist group Food Not Bombs will be presenting their ideas on hunger, war, waste and poverty on Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Great Harvest Bread Company on Buffalo Street.
The group was started in 1980 by anti-nuclear activists in Boston, Mass. Since then, it’s grown into an international organization, with chapters in most large cities in the United States and abroad, said Buffalo Food Not Bombs member Meghan Quinn.
While the different chapters are autonomous, they all share a core set of principles. These include drawing attention to hunger by sharing vegan and vegetarian meals to whoever wants it, using food that would otherwise be thrown out. Restaurants and supermarkets donate food to the group, who then prepare the food and share it in a public place, Quinn said.
Another core belief of the group is the idea that the group is leaderless, and makes all decisions based on the consensus of those involved at the time. This model has worked quite well for Food Not Bombs, she said.
The group is also dedicated to nonviolence, as the name suggests.
“We’re looking for a more peaceful, equitable society,” Quinn said, pointing to the trillions of dollars spent on the last decade of wars the United States has been involved with. “There’s no reason for anyone in the U.S. to be hungry.”
While party politics may dominate the national political landscape, they have no place in Food Not Bombs, she said.
“This isn’t a liberal versus conservative thing,” Quinn said. “It has nothing to do with that spectrum of politics. We have an ideology. We believe there should be more peace in the world and that people should have food.”
People with different backgrounds and view points often show up to help, she said.
“We accept anyone who wants to come and cook with us,” Quinn said. “Anybody can do it.”
The Buffalo chapter of Food Not Bombs shares food on Monday and Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m. in Lafayette Square in downtown Buffalo. A variety of people come to eat the food, Quinn said, from regulars to Quwaiti tourists.
“The food that we share is really important to people,” she said. “If we weren’t there, people would notice. Make no mistake, people need it.”
As for the groups decision to present their ideas in Hamburg, Quinn said it made sense, as the group gets donated bread from The Great Harvest Bread Company.
“The Hamburg community is already a part of what we’re doing, so why not?,” she said.