Seven Steps to Organizing a
Local Food Not Bombs
At the outset, starting a Food Not Bombs might seem like more than you can handle. Work on the basics, taking one step at a time. There is no need to feel pressured to accomplish everything at once. It might take a couple of weeks to get things rolling, or it might take months. One person cannot be a Food Not Bombs group, but one person can be the "starter" of one group.
Once you have made the decision to start a local Food Not Bombs group, pick a meeting date, time, and place, and gather together everyone interested to talk about what you would like to do. You might start with a group of friends, or members of an existing group, or it could be people who respond to posters announcing your intentions.
The following is a step-by-step process to get your food operation up and running. Because of your unique situation, you may need to add, ignore, or reorder steps. Follow the path you feel will work best for your group.
Step 1: Start by getting a phone number and mailing address. By using either a voice mailbox or an answering machine, you can have an outgoing message with information about the next meeting time and place, and receive messages so that you never miss a call. Likewise, use a commercial mailbox or post office box for your permanent address.
Step 2: Make flyers announcing the existence ofa local Food Not Bombs group. By handing them out at events, posting them around town, or mailing them to your friends, you will get additional volunteers. It is helpful to have regularly scheduled, weekly meetings and always know the date of the next one.
Step 3: Arrange for the use of a vehicle. Among the members of your group, there might be enough vehicles of the right size for your needs, but if not, you might be able to borrow a van or truck from a sympathetic church group or similar organization. If you are very lucky, you could be able to find someone to donate one to you. If none of the above succeeds, you can always hold fund-raising events specifically for the purchase of a van.
Step 4: With flyers in hand, begin looking for sources
of food. The first places to approach are the local food co-ops and health
food stores. These types of stores tend to be supportive and are a good
place to practice your approach. Tell them you plan to give the food to
shelters and soup kitchens to feed hungry people, and if they are interested
and willing, arrange for a regular time to pick up the food each day or
as often as practical. Where appropriate, leave literature that
explains what Food Not Bombs does.