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Snow Moon over North Hill by Cindy Schreiner

Food Not Bombs in action this weekend in Belmont


This Saturday March 18th, at the Belmont Library, Food Not Bombs will be serving free meals!

What is Food Not Bombs? We are a group that first and foremost wants to feed people free, healthy, and delicious food. There are many, many chapters around the world, alike in mission but independent and local in focus. Two weeks ago my wife and I made a pot of chili and a friend made a few loaves of bread. Nothing fancy, but definitely delicious!

What sets us apart is our vision for what we want to do and say with our food – we all live in a system of great excess, where the powers of technology and human labor enables us to produce far more than enough to meet everyone’s needs, but waste and unjust distribution leaves people hungry and cold. We want to build a world where that doesn’t happen, and to us that starts by showing that, even on a small scale, we as a community can feed ourselves from oft-neglected sources. In many cases that means cast-off but still tasty produce, or the baked goods left at the end of a day. In our case in Allegany County, it might mean teaching each others to garden and sharing the excess.

That’s the “Food” part.

The “Not Bombs” part of the name represents the second part of our vision. Not only are excess resources wasted, a large part of our taxes support violence, most visibly in endless wars that take massive amounts of money out of public coffers that could directly help people. The last few decades have seen growths in military, police, and prisons as aspects of our local economies – the latter is particularly visible in Belmont with the recently built county jail. We want to address the roots of crime in poverty and inequality, doing our best to set an example for how that can be done through our work.

A popular saying in Food Not Bombs and similar groups is “solidarity, not charity.” that means that we aren’t a charity – we don’t want to just fill in the gaps of a broken system and alleviate struggles, we want to bring our neighbors together to care for each other directly. Crucially, this means that the people who most need help will take part in planning, cooking, and distributing meals – ideally, those of you most in need will be the most numerous and most prominent in the group. I hope to start a group where people are empowered, not JUST provided for. This is the first step in learning that we have power to build a better world.

That’s a lot of big-picture thinking, but remember that we will be in Belmont this Saturday! If any of this sounds interesting to you and you would like to take part, the best way will be to come and enjoy a delicious meal with us and chat!

Have questions about this weekend, about Food Not Bombs, or want to get involved? Contact organizer Brock Mapes via email,, or connect on Facebook,

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