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‘Food Not Bombs’ Going Four Years Strong

Food Not Bombs will celebrate their fourth anniversary on Sept. 18.

Photo credit: Pluto A.B. Brand

Food Not Bombs will celebrate their fourth anniversary on Sept. 18.
Written by: Zachary D. ElickSeptember 14, 2016

The local chapter of Food Not Bombs, a global movement advocating against war and poverty, will celebrate the fourth anniversary of its current incarnation 2-4 p.m. Sept. 18 at Freiman Square.

Members of Food Not Bombs Fort Wayne will host a potluck, an open-mic live show, a free yoga instruction and possibly a drum circle at the event, said Llavel Stabler, an IPFW alumni and volunteer for the group. Attendees are encouraged to bring a vegetarian dish to share for the potluck, according to the event’s Facebook page.

Created in Cambridge, Mass., in 1980, FNB is an all-volunteer organization that sets up areas in public spaces to give away free vegetarian food and other useful items to the needy. Members of FNB, which is active around the world, also stage protests against war and other issues they believe contribute to world hunger, according to their official website.

“(The U.S. is) spending literally billions, near a trillion dollars, on war annually. You could take just a small portion of that, a relatively small portion of that to do a lot,” Stabler said. “We could be spending a lot more money on education, a lot more money on housing, a lot more money on feeding people if you just de-prioritize the military a little bit.”

The FNBFW anniversary celebration will be held at the same time and location as the group’s weekly Free Market. The market relies on donations from community members and regional locations of Panera Bread and Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market, according to Stabler.

“The idea is anything that you don’t want that you think other people could use, you can bring it down. And that could literally extend to anything,” he said. “Especially with the people we serve downtown, there’s usually a pretty big need for things like socks, shoes … summer clothing … winter clothing … hygiene products …  feminine products.”

Andrew Jokerst, who works as an audio tech for IPFW’s Office of Special Events, helps cook and pickup the donated food every Sunday. Much of what is given to FNBFW is salvageable food from Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market that would normally be thrown away, he said.

“It is absolutely astonishing what kinds of things get thrown out. Food that doesn’t look pretty or maybe is almost expired or maybe they just need to make more room on the shelf. Or, (it) has some minor defect though otherwise it is perfectly edible,” Jokerst said. “It’s great that we get that food, but plenty of places just throw it out.”