THE THREE PRINCIPLES OF FOOD NOT BOMBS
1. ALWAYS VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN AND FREE TO EVERYONE
Our food is vegan or vegetarian and free to anyone without restriction, rich or poor, stoned or sober. First, the potential for problems with food spoilage are greatly reduced when dealing strictly with plant based foods. Second, we want our food to reflect our dedication to nonviolence and that included violence against all beings including animals. We only prepare food which is strictly from plant sources so people will always know and trust Food Not Bombs that our food is safe and nonviolent. At times, we do get donations of dairy and meat products which might and redirect it to soup kitchens that aren’t vegetarian because we believe eating is more important than being politically pure; however, we NEVER cook with animal products ourselves and only share breads that might have dairy when it is not possible to know for sure.
2. EACH CHAPTER IS INDEPENDENT AND AUTONOMOUS AND MAKES DECISIONS USING THE CONSENSUS PROCESS
Each Food Not Bombs chapter is autonomous and uses a process of consensus to make decisions. There are no leaders, presidents or directors, and no headquarters. . Everyone in each chapter is encouraged to participate in the decision making including those who depend on Food Not Bombs for their meals. Your chapter may meet once a week or once a month but no one volunteer is empowered to tell the rest of the group how it is to operate and there is no headquarters to direct the activities of any chapter. The process of consensus is not voting or the use of “Robert’s Rules of Order” where a majority determine the decisions. In consensus a decisions is not made until the proposal is one that everyone participating supports and can feel good giving their consent. There are a number of resources to help your chapter learn to use consensus on the web and you can also request support from volunteers who have been active in other Food Not Bombs groups.
3. FOOD NOT BOMBS IS DEDICATED TO NONVIOLENCE
Food Not Bombs is not a charity but is dedicated to using nonviolent direct action to change society. Our volunteers not only provide meals to the hungry on the streets and at protests we also participate in planning and implementing campaigns of nonviolent direct action. Our volunteers helped organize and provided meals to activists at blockades, sit-ins, strikes, marches, tree sits and lock downs. Our actions can involve art, music, puppets, banners and many other creative strategies. Our volunteers have provided food to workers and their families while on strike and they have smuggled food into factory and office occupations. Food Not Bombs volunteers can help facilitate Nonviolence Trainings to prepare for campaigns of non-cooperation and nonviolent resistance. There is nothing passive about nonviolent direct action.