A safe way to share food with the hungry

Food Not Bombs has shared free vegan and vegetarian meals for 30 years providing meals in nearly 1,000 cities and no one has ever reported being made ill. All state laws require people selling food to have a permit. No states require people sharing free food to have a permit. Our volunteers follow these simple steps to making sure our meals are always safe. The main safety measure we implement is that all our food is vegan or vegetarian. This fact alone reduces a risk that anyone will become ill. We always wash our hands and wrists with warm soapy water before touching the food we are preparing. We also share the meals before harmful bacteria have a chance to be a threat to people's health. With so many people going hungry it is not easy to have enough food prepared to provide meals for longer than the three hours it can take to make people ill. Bacteria multiply most rapidly between 40°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C), a range known as the Food Temperature Danger Zone and after three hours in this zone, bacteria may start to become a safety issue particularly if the meal includes meat or dairy. Your meals will leave the stove above 140°F (60°C) and still be at that temperature by the time you are sharing it with your community. Your chapter can place the prepared food into coolers to keep the food outside the Food Temperature Danger Zone. Some groups prepare their meals on propane stoves or over wood fires on site which also protects the public from harmful bacteria. We also ask that volunteers that smoke to wait until they are finished cooking or serving the meal and remember to wash their hands after they take a smoking break, before returning to cook or share the food. Washing your hands with soap and warm water after going to the toilet is also an important way to protect the community when providing free vegan and vegetarian meals. Another saftey measure involves always cutting your produce and breads on a cutting board that you can clean often and to take care to clean and disinfect all your cooking equipment.

Your chapter might bring three buckets of water out to your meal, one with soap, one with disinfectant like chlorine, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and one bucket for rinsing. The three bucket method makes it possible to use your limited supply of dishes and flatware to feed hundreds of people. Many of the people relying on our meals can be a greater risk of illness because of their economic conditions so Food Not Bombs volunteers take particular care with food safety. Simple low tech practices like washing our produce and our hands, and preparing only organic vegan and vegetarian meals that are shared in a short amount of time, protects the community we are feeding.

The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

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Everything you need to start a local Food Not Bombs group in your community. A full color banner, on copy of the 182 page Food Not Bombs handbook, a DVD, flyers you can reprint and 20 buttons. Everything you need to start a group.
HUNGRY FOR PEACE - How you can help end poverty and war with Food Not Bombs
This 182 page book shows you how to cook for 100 people, has detailed information about starting a Food Not Bombs group.
Flyers, graphics, logos, and photos you can use to help you start your Food Not Bombs group. Please use any of these images on posters, flyers or on your new website.
You can start a Food Not Bombs group in you community buy making copies of this flyer, add your phone number and post it all over town in cafes, bookstores, schools, and store windows.
It can be helpful to raise money and awareness to have Food Not Bombs buttons, stickers and other materials on your table at events and concerts. Our office provides these materials at half price to Food Not Bombs chapters. You will attract more volunteers and support in your community when people see the Food Not Bombs image all over town.
CONTACT A FOOD NOT BOMBS GROUP NEAR YOUBefore you start a group see if one is already active in your community. If you do find a group in your town try work with them. Sometimes the contact information is old and the group has stopped so if you find this has happened then let us know and start a new chapter. You can also invite a Food Not Bombs group near your community to help you get started. When you get your group going please email us the correct contact information and the times, days and locatons of where you share food.
One great way to help start a Food Not Bombs group is to invite the co-founder Keith McHenry to speak to your community. Student activity centers at colleges and universities will provide funding for a presentation by Keith, helping with airfare and an honorarium. You can learn more about Keith and listen to his presentations here
YOUR LITERATURE AND FOOD TABLEYour Food Not Bombs group can have real impact when you include literature and a banner at every meal. If you set up your table at a location that is busy with a diversity of people at a time when lots of pedestrians walk by you will be able to attract more volunteers and discover new food sourses. You can also meet people who would have never known about the issues we are working on. Many Food Not Bombs tables are considered the place to visit for iinfromation, community as well as great food. This page shows you how you can have a more effective Food Not Bombs table.

Food Not Bombs
P.O. Box 424, Arroyo Seco, NM 87514 USA

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