How to Start a Food Not Bombs

Food not Bombs is a movement that believes that food is a right and not a privilege. Using food that would otherwise go to waste Food not Bombs serves free vegetarian or vegan meals to anyone who wants them.


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    Understand the principles of Food not Bombs. These are: vegetarian or vegan, autonomous and non-hierarchical and non-violent. If you agree with these then you're ready to start a Food not Bombs.
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    Find some volunteers. This can mean calling your friends, putting up posters or handing out fliers, do what you can to spread the word. Some people will only show up once or twice others will show up every week they can, this is fine as long as you have a core of volunteers.
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    Find a space to cook. You can ask churches, collective houses, community centres or anywhere with a large kitchen that you can use.
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    Choose a place to serve your meals. Try seeing where charities serve food, ask people at soup kitchens where they'd like to get free meals to get some ideas, don't be afraid to try different spots at first.
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    Get the food. It's out there, ask supermarkets, grocery stores and restaurants for their excess or waste food, tell them what you are going to do with it. If that doesn't work (or even if it does) dumpster dive some food.
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    Get together regularly to get food, cook meals and serve them.


  • Food not Bombs is non-hierarchical which means there are no leaders or bosses, work on making decisions by consensus.
  • Serve food in a visible location to expose the hunger that exists in your town/city/area as well as make your meals more accessible.
  • It helps to have at least one person bottom line important tasks (such as getting food or taking time to serve) so that no single task goes undone.
  • Try serving at protests and events that work toward ideals you believe in.


  • You may be approached by the powers that be, stay calm and explain what you are doing, in the US you are entitled to serve food under the "Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Act".
  • Despite the above some locations may "require" a permit to food, try to get it if you are able to but don't stop because you aren't able to.

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Categories: Volunteer and Community Service