The Guelph chapter proves that food is a right, not a privilege
Providing free, accessible, and local food to the Guelph community is the goal of the Guelph chapter of Food Not Bombs, a loose-knit group of independent collectives serving free vegan food to those who are hungry, both on campus and in the community.
The idea behind Food Not Bombs is to raise awareness about global issues, specifically the labelling of hunger as a form of violence.
According to the group, the Food Not Bombs ideology is that government priorities are skewed to allow hunger to persist in the midst of abundance.
Food Not Bombs is a global enterprise, which was founded in 1980 in Massachusetts by anti-nuclear activists. Since then, there have been more than 400 chapters nationally representing the organization. While each chapter is free to make its own decisions about what issues to endorse and fight against, they also embrace a few basic principles.
Many chapters of Food Not Bombs are involved in community, anti-poverty, anti-war, and pro-immigrant organizing, as well as other political causes related to social justice. The Guelph chapter of the group aims to educate students and community members through various themed events, classes, and outreach programs.
Already the Guelph chapter has held a number of events on campus. These include a visit by Keith McHenry, co-founder of Food Not Bombs, a Bring Your Own Bowl (BYOB) Soup Kitchen, and most recently, a free vegan dinner at the Aboriginal Resource Center.
University of Guelph student Maria Timpano is a member of the Guelph organization and explained that students “make and deliver all vegan food to people on campus who are looking for a healthy meal, but can not afford it because money is tight [with the idea of] raising awareness of global hunger issues.” Too many University of Guelph students face this reality, says the group, and for some of them these opportunities are their only reason for not going to bed hungry.
A large amount of the food served by the group of students is excess food from grocery stores, restaurants, and bakeries that would otherwise go straight to the garbage. They aspire to reduce waste through sharing both free food and information in protest of war, poverty, hunger, and similar global issues.
The Guelph group wants students to realize that in a world of abundance, food is a right and hunger should not be tolerated.