Food Not Bombs is the focal point of the community I mentioned. Here's how it works. Three times a week, monday/wednesday/friday, some people gather at 3pm at someone's kitchen and start preparing a meal mainly using fresh produce picked up at the end of farmers markets. Then at 6ish the food is taken over to a park, where everyone else shows up and shares the meal. The produce that isn't cooked is available for anyone to take home, along with rescued bread, burritos, etc picked up from shops, and occasionally from dumpsters. It's all vegan, mostly organic, and usually delicious as there are people who know how to make food taste good and this knowledge spreads around. Helping with the cooking is a great way to learn how to cook. All the food pick-ups are done using bicycles and trailers. Most people show up to the gatherings by bicycle. People bring their own dish and spoon, so no paper or plastic is wasted. It's all voluntary, no money is used. Everyone who helps out gets to learn how to do anything from hauling to cooking to serving to cleaning.
Food Not Bombs helps everyone to participate in avoiding or boycotting many harmful or wasteful activities, and replace them with fun -- we get to
- ride bicycles instead of cars
- eat local/organic/unprocessed food, and not pay for the pollution and waste of shipping/chemicals/packaging
- eat plants and not pay for the horrors of animal agriculture
- use one big shared kitchen and not waste resources using lots of kitchens to cook the same amount of food
- share knowledge and skills so everyone learns how to make food good, and just how good it can be
- eat together in community rather than isolated in separate homes
- do the "work" of preparing and cleaning together rather than alone, because washing dishes and cooking is way more fun with friends
- invite and welcome anyone and everyone to join us, since we're in public and the food is free
In a more beautiful world, I imagine most people eating most of their dinners this way: all-voluntary, free, and in community. Food Not Bombs gets to show us how beautiful this can be right now.
Hauling food to the serving
Food in large quantities can fit on a bike trailer
(photos from Daniela and the Food Not Bombs PDX page)
By the way, this also goes on in San Francisco and the East Bay -- I've been with the SF group for the last year.