New group Food Not Bombs seeks to redistribute healthy food in the Ithaca community
When sophomore Grace Woodward found out about Food Not Bombs, she couldn’t wait to help found a chapter of the club in the Ithaca community. Food Not Bombs is a non-profit organization that aims to promote food justice for people who are food insecure in the area and at protests or events where they share similar goals. The movement, as Woodward explains, is about finding loopholes in a flawed system and creating a sense of community.
“Having food is a right. And we’re just trying to build a strong community while we’re trying to fight the system. We’re taking it into our own hands.”
The food the club uses to cater protests and other events is gathered from local grocery store dumpsters or donations from restaurants or local farmers. Most of the dishes on their menus ends up being vegetarian, vegan and sometimes even gluten-free, because they appeal to more people’s dietary needs. Volunteers then make a menu out of the available ingredients, using the best of their finds.
“Businesses can’t sell things past the expiration date, but just because something’s past the expiration date doesn’t always mean its bad for you,” Woodward said.
Member Emily Wilson said the group has success finding plenty of discarded breads and pastas at places like Aldi and Panera Bread.
“It’s absurd how many things we find thrown away that are perfectly good,” Wilson said.
Food Not Bombs has catered vegan potlucks before local concerts, the North East Anarchist Network convention and will cater PowerShift, an annual gathering concerning climate change, in Albany on April 27. They also distribute food to community members every other Sunday at the Silent City Distro located in the Tompkins County Worker’s Center.
The Ithaca chapter, started in February, is open to Ithaca and Cornell students as well as anyone from the community who wants to volunteer. To get involved, email Food Not Bombs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at http://foodnotbombs.net.
Mariana Garces is a junior journalism major who is down to dumpster dive. Email her at email@example.com.