Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Food Not Bombs

February 03 2010
An eye-opening man - and charity.

A few days ago I saw Keith McHenry talk at the London Action Resource Centre about the founding and work of Food Not Bombs (FNB), and it was an eye-opening talk for many.

You may wonder what this has to do with rough sleeping.

FNB was started by chance in the United States while activists were campaigning against a nuclear power plant. Food that would otherwise have been thrown away was collected and distributed to activists, and was sold to raise funds. After discovering that an abundance of food was being thrown away, the food they couldn't use was passed on to the local Catholic Worker House. As too much food was still being wasted, they created a network to deliver it to local refuges and shelters, and then they started cooking food on street to hand out to anyone who wanted it.

FNB and Boston's [Massachusetts] homeless built up a relationship, so when the local police decided to move people on, taking their shoes, bedding, pets and personal belongings, FNB set up a tent city outside city hall, where activists would get arrested for handing out free food. City Hall eventually said that they would open up a shelter, but there were too many strings attached for some people (they were allowed only so many belongings, had to bring their own bedding and it was men only), so FNB also started a "homes not jails" campaign. They opened up empty properties to be used as homes, which helped engage support from local community groups and unions. FNB has grown so it even provides food during natural disasters. There are chapters across the World, serving vegetarian food to anyone regardless on status.

Dunk Gray

We're sorry to have missed Mr McHenry's talk, which readers can hear online. However, we've spoken with him, and hope to get an interview with him for the next issue. For information on getting involved and your nearest chapter go to