Operating under the philosophy that food is a right and not a privilege, the non-profit Food Not Bombs has provided free meals to the hungry in one form or another since the 1980s. The meals are often created out of surplus veggies, fruits, and baked goods from area grocery stores and restaurants that would otherwise be heading to a landfill.
With a loose collective of chapters around the globe, chances are you've run into a Food Not Bombs member handing out burritos at a punk show, leafleting on a college campus, or participating in a meal share at a public park - like locally at Stranahan Park where the Fort Lauderdale chapter of FNB has been sharing meals since 2006.
But the fate of the weekly meal share in the park is up in the air since City Commission decided to proceed with a new law banning the storage of private property in public spaces on May 6th. Effectively the law would keep homeless people (and their possessions) out of the park.
Food Not Bombs is responding to City Commission with a large-scale food share, art show and night of music with "Public Property: A Reclamative Art Show with Food Not Bombs" on Friday.
"The struggle for the right for extremely needy people to use public spaces for their basic survival in Fort Lauderdale has been tragic, and avoidable. One of the things we have lost in this struggle is the humanity and voice of the homeless people, whose basic needs, like sitting down anywhere, are now considered criminal acts by the city," says Food Not Bombs volunteer Nathan Patches Pim.
"The second thing we've lost is Stranahan Park. In just two short years it has gone from a place where people used to congregate, rest, read books, play games, and so on to a walled-off garden of fancy botanical artifacts for use only at the pleasure of wealthy, well connected people.
"We seek to rectify both losses, for at least a few hours, with our art show. We want to remind people through artistic, free expression that inserting point-tipped steel fences in public areas and having people rounded up for phony crimes is unsustainable and signs of corrupt, evil leadership."
On Friday, starting at 5 p.m. Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs will be joined by Broward Homeless Campaign and community activists for a night of vegan food, music and thought-provoking art in effort to "hopefully bring us a little bit of solidarity and hope in the face of a mounting campaign of bad homeless policies in Broward County."
Want to get involved? Bring something tasty to share ( A sample recipe is below) and head to the park at 10 E. Broward Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
- 10 lbs potatoes
- 5 lbs carrots
- 2 eggplants
- 1 onion
- 1/2 lb fresh greens
- 3-4 garlic cloves
Clean all veggies carefully.
Cut the potatoes into bite sizes and bring to boil in extra large pot.
When the potatoes are starting to get soft add carrots.
When the carrots start to get soft lower to simmer and throw everything else in the giant pot.
Season to taste.
Most importantly, share with everyone.