In 1980, Keith McHenry helped to found Food Not Bombs, a worldwide organization that serves free vegetarian meals, fights against poverty, and promotes peace and non-violence.
This year, Keith McHenry turns 60 years old. He has been arrested over 100 times for serving free meals without the proper permits. Some members of the public object to FNB's free meal activities, because they tend to attract congregations of homeless people.
I volunteered for Food Not Bombs in the mid-1990s, and the volunteers were fantastic people. The local Unitarian Church allowed us to use their huge kitchen to prepare the food, and some senior citizen members of the church used to help us cook. That was a sight - a bunch of pierced young punks and long-haired hippies slicing vegetables alongside gray-haired grandmas and grandpas. Huge pots of spicy soup and big trays of salad. Wonderful times!
The homeless people who we served always seemed to enjoy the vegetarian food - a few of them told me it was something different from their usual fare. Unlike homeless people in some other countries, none of these American homeless people were starving. However, the quality of their diets was really poor. When you don't have a kitchen, stove, refrigerator, or even a hot plate, it can be very difficult to prepare healthy, satisfying meals.
Food Not Bombs West Africa:
Food Not Bombs, Chihuahua, Mexico:
Food Not Bombs Myanmar (Burma):
Food Not Bombs, Spain:
Food Not Bombs, Birmingham (UK):
Food Not Bombs, Tijuana, Mexico:
Food Not Bombs Oxford (UK):
And here in California: