Tag Archives: food not bombs

This Is What Solidarity Looks Like: How Long Island Food Not Bombs’ Hunger Relief Efforts are Eclipsing That of NGO’s With Multi-Million Dollar Annual Budgets

[HEMPSTEAD, NY]  The hunger relief efforts of a small group of dedicated and caring Long Islanders operating on a near-zero budget is eclipsing that of the relief efforts of many well-funded 501-c3 organizations, both in number of people served and in the volume of food distributed. The group, a Long Island chapter of the decentralized, grassroots, hunger relief group, Food Not Bombs, is serving to both inspire the local community and simultaneously raise questions as to how an autonomous group with a shoestring budget can outmatch non-profits of similar purpose whose operating budget exceeds millions of dollars annually.

Long Island Food Not Bombs (LIFNB), who facilitates community food shares 5 days a week, and organizes distributions of recovered food 7 days a week, distributed nearly 30,000lbs of produce yesterday alone (12/22/2013). These large numbers have become more common for the group in recent years, and is credited in-part to the group’s sister non-profit Community Solidarity Inc., whose 501-c3 status has allowed greater access to recovery points such as grocers and local cafes. The exponential increase in attendance at LIFNB’s food shares can also be attributed to the radical increase in income inequality and it’s creation of a growing constituency of hungry, working, poor families. LIFNB’s savvy use of social media, and community-driven organizing model has also contributed to its explosive growth. Moreover, the food served is delicious.

An 8min video published today by The Sparrow Project titled This Is What Solidarity Looks Like: 24hrs With Long Island Food Not Bombs provides a cross-sectional view into the group’s daily operations, specifically the 24 hour period surrounding the group’s annual Thanksgiving food share which took place this year on November 24th at the Long Island Rail Road Station in Hempstead, NY.

Between 3pm and 4pm on November 24th, 2013 over 2,500 people visited the share and left with groceries, plates of hot food, or both.

Between 3pm and 4pm on November 24th, 2013 approximately 50,078.75lbs of food was distributed. This consisted of fresh produce, cereals, soy milks, cooking amenities like oils and flours, as well as non essentials like spices and sweeteners. This abundance, if distributed evenly, could provide a week worth of nutrition for all 2,500 attendees.

Between 3pm and 4pm on November 24th, 2013 approximately 1,850 people enjoyed hot vegan meals. Long Island Food Not Bombs extends their foundational message of non-violence to embrace non-human animals and therefore only recovers and distributes vegetarian grocery items and only prepares hot meals that are strictly vegan. The group’s plant-based entrées (often celebrated by vegans and carnivores alike) is not only more sustainable and safe for distribution but directly challenges the Turkey fundraisers of other soup kitchens. The Hempstead meal alone spared ~180 turkeys.

On average Long Island Food Not Bombs saves a family who attends their food shares ~ $100 every week*. These savings add up for families who regularly attend the shares and can exceed $4,000 in savings per-family annually*. [ calculations based on fair market value of food donated*]

The creation of the group’s sister non-profit Community Solidarity has increased the group’s access to food and the groups ability to help an exponentially larger amount of people, all while allowing the autonomy, DIY ethos, and radical politics of Food Not Bombs to remain intact. The two-tier system however has not resulted in an infusion of capital. Unlike 501-c3 organizations with similar purposes, LIFNB and Community Solidarity Inc., have no paid employees and continue to operate on a shoestring. If you want to help change that you can do so by donating to Community Solidarity HERE.

The video published today by The Sparrow Project, is intended to inspire others to pursue similar endeavors in their own communities. LIFNB places emphasis on solidarity over charity and community engagement over hierarchical charitable models that can inadvertently patronize the communities they intend to help. Through the use of social media, a dedicated core of volunteers, and countless community members that make up the foundation of their food share distributions, Long Island Food Not Bombs was able to serve over 1,000,000lbs of food to tens of thousand of Long Islander’s in 2013.

For more information on Long Island Food Not Bombs visit http://lifnb.com or email longislandfoodnotbombs@gmail.com Tax deductible donations can be made to support LIFNB’s tireless efforts online at this LINK. To schedule an interview with a LIFNB member or for similar media requests please email jonsteps@communitysolidarity.org. Media request can also be directed to andy@sparrowmedia.net

Vote Today to Help Food Not Bombs Earn a Grant to Continue Feeding Hundreds of Hungry Families

Food Not Bombs, Long Island, is an entirely volunteer-based organization that has brought free plant-based meals, groceries,and clothing to those in need for over 14 years. In the last five years the group has seen an exponential growth in the number of volunteers, amount of donations, sponsors, as well as in the community participation at the food shares —all without any operating budget. Following a mantra of “solidarity, not charity” Food Not Bombs community food shares feed hundreds of families vegan meals & groceries each week in 5 cities across suburban Long Island.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Food Not Bombs DIY ethos and decentralized structure is what has allowed it to flourish and spread its feedings virally to countries all around the world. Maintaining the ideals, autonomy & purely volunteer framework of Food Not Bombs is what will assure it’s continued success and continued growth within the community. It is for these reasons that Food Not Bombs volunteers have started a partner non-profit with the purpose of increasing access to recovered food, increasing distribution of food to communities in need, and for the purpose of coaching existing soup kitchens & pantries to more efficiently serve the community even while operating on a shoestring budget.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

This new partner non-profit, properly named ‘Community Solidarity‘ can use your help. They have been nominated to the Vivint Gives Back Project, a socially-driven non profit incubator, and if they receive enough endorsements from people like you they can earn one of a handful of grants for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Food Not Bombs is asking all of their supporters to endorse the Community Solidarity project by visiting http://vivint.com/givesbackproject/charity/647 and casting your vote for them. You can continue to help them by sharing the endorsement link with your friends on social networks. You can return back to the Vivint link to vote once a day until the drawing in August.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

It is a sobering fact to learn that poverty and a lack of access to food and water kills more people every day then violent conflicts do. A fact that we so often ignore is that the blight of scarcity, poverty, and hunger are things we can do something about it. Food Not Bombs & Community Solidarity are showing us that DIY hunger relief and community empowerment are more then just bright-eyed ideals, they are an ever-growing concrete reality.

The Largest All-Vegan Thanksgiving Food Share

Long Island Food Not Bombs, in recent years has re-defined food sharing programs, constantly outdoing similar programs and even themselves with the quantity of food shared, it’s quality, and the community participation the sharing inspires.   There has never been a Food Not Bombs chapter that has exponentially grown this way, and in LIFNB’s growth something beautiful is happening.  Next week LIFNB will be hosting  a series of events, the largest will be their all-vegan Thanksgiving Food Share, if you are able to attend please do.  If you live far away and are reading this, then get inspired and go out and do your own event!

“Starting November 20th and going through November 25th Long Island Food Not Bombs will be holding its largest endeavor to date; it will include parties, Food Shares, copious amounts of decadent foods, the sharing of clothing, books and the organized efforts of thousands of community members. The largest of all these events will be Vegan Thanksgiving. It’s a 2-day affair that starts as an all night cooking party, (on Nov.20th, everyone is invited) and culminates into the Vegan Thanksgiving Food Share the next day in Hempstead (“the Hempstead Food Share Bonanza”).

Please Spread the word! This is our most ambitious project to date and to pull it off we are going to need your help, your friends help and even the help of their friends. Solidarity is what makes Long Island Food Not Bombs so strong and we ask that you help us make these events even more absurdly inspirational than we could ever imagine.

The Hempstead Food Share, on November 21st, will be the largest Food Not Bombs ever! We expect to be able to share a feast with everyone that comes! We’ll then be continuing the week with nearly a dozen events spread across our Food Shares in Bedstuy, Coram, Huntington and Farmingville.”

Saturday, November 20th @ 3pm: Expanded BedStuy Thanksgiving Food Share
Saturday, November 20th @ 7pm: Vegan Thanksgiving Cooking Party @ JonSTeps’ House
Sunday, November 21st @ 2pm: Hempstead Food Share Bonanza
Monday, November 22nd @ 5:30pm: Coram Thanksgiving Sleeping Bag/ Blanket Food Share
Monday, November 22nd @ 9pm: Dumpster Scavenger Hunt/LIFNB Olympics
Tuesday, November 23rd @ 6:30pm: Huntington Thanksgiving Food Share
Thursday, November 25th @11am: LIFNB Thanksgiving Lunch in Farmingville
Thursday, November 25th @ 6:30pm: Farmingville Food Share