What is Long Island Food Not Bombs?
The aim of Food Not Bombs is to fight the social, economic and environmental oppressions that are inflicted upon our community and our planet.
Mainly we provide groceries, fresh food and warm meals to low income communities. All the food we distribute is completely vegetarian and mostly organic. We also collect clothing, books, toiletries and toys for redistribution as well. We have numerous guerrilla gardening programs that range from blanketing neighborhoods with sunflowers to providing families with peach trees.
Our goal, which is admittedly lofty, is to root out the roots of oppression in our community. Some of these roots include racism, sexism, war, environmental destruction, poverty, corporate greed, and government oppression. While these evils undoubtedly affect our collective lives each day they are not something we are powerless to stop.
Food Not Bombs is one of the largest, fastest growing and effective food distribution programs in the world. Currently there are hundreds if not thousands of chapters around the world. To find more about the greater Food Not Bombs movement
Background, History of Long Island Food Not Bombs:
Long Island has had numerous Food Not Bombs chapters for nearly two decades. However by 2005 all active chapters had effectively ceased. It was also a weird period in which almost all forms of radical youth activism had stopped, or at least stopped in the public sphere.
In the Spring of 2006 a newly formed Long Island Food Not Bombs was created by Co-founders Alex Witcowski and JonSTeps. Together with nearly a half dozen awesome activists they started setting up tables of groceries for fellow community members in areas across Long Island. Now Long Island Food Not Bombs is made up of dozens of volunteers who are supported by a community of Thousands.
Since its creation Long Island Food Not Bombs has become one of the largest food distribution organizations on Long Island (we think we're the 2nd largest, but thats not so important). In 2008 we shared over 750,000 pounds of groceries and Thousands of pounds of hot vegan meals, clothing, books, toys, educational materials and other essentials. Needless to say in 2009 we wish to break this record, if not double or triple it. But we can only do so with your help.
Food Not Bombs is about community empowerment. We don't give out donations, we share food. We share food because it's not ours to give out. Food is a Right and not a Privilege so as an organization, one of our roles is to stand in solidarity with local communities on Long Island and help protect our collective right to healthy food.
The Radical Super Market:
One of the things that is extraordinarily unique about Long Island Food Not Bombs is the shear scale of what we do. People that come to LIFNB don't just get some food, we share a good portion of what a person needs for a whole week. That means on most days folks can leave with 3 or 4 large bags of fresh organic groceries, (breads, fruits, veggies, protein, juice etc.)
When you come to a Long Island Food Not Bombs Food Share community members also share other necessities like clothing, books, toys, seeds, tools, literature. In essence our inevitable goal is to share everything someone might need for their week, their job, their family and their lives.
This massive assortment of free stuff also attracts crowds of Hundreds at a time and because of the shear volume of food, materials, and people we often run our Food Not Bombs Chapters like Radical Super Markets.
It goes like this, over the area of a city block we have tables separated into sections and individually specified for various items like bread, fruits and veggies, sweets, frozen foods, grocery items, clothing, community supported literature and hot vegan meals. If you come to a Food Share and only need clothing then you can just go to the clothing area, if you only want fruits you can go to that area, and so on.
We also try and have numerous cool folks throughout the crowd and at the tables who can help you find what you're looking for.
The Support of Local Businesses _ We Support Local Business
Food is a Right, and It's about time we as a society make it so. Food Not Bombs helps share free food, a vast majority we get from local businesses and we don't wish to leave these folks out in the wind.
We are able to do what we do in part because of a vast array of businesses who share food with us. And we at Long Island Food Not Bombs wish to support these businesses as much as we can. We believe that if a business supports its community that it's only right for the community to support that business. As we say, when people spend money they'd prefer to do so at a place thats taken care of their neighbors.
We encourage all of our supporters to support the businesses that make what we do possible..... ya....
The Future, hopes of Health care, Housing and Schools... hey they're Essential Human Rights too.
It is our goal to branch Long Island Food Not Bombs into a conduit that helps folks find free/ affordable housing, healthcare and a force that encourages real community based education. These services are Human Rights and only by supporting these rights will we be creating a communities that can overcome poverty, hunger and social & political oppression.
You can't make your life better if you spend all your time looking for food, and the same is true if you spend all your time sick, without a home or without the tools of literature and mathematics.
Knowledge is power and real power to change or communities, countries and world will come from the people who live within them. In this sense social services are some of the most important tools of change we can create.