Friday, February 08, 2013

Dear Readers,

Thank you for being out there. I hope that 2013 brings you much happiness, joy and great food!

I just posted an update to Local Food News. Following my brief note is an article written by a new local about a great organization, Food NOT BOMBS!

Patricia's Wellness Arts Cafe & Quilter's Comfort Teas is almost ready to announce the winner of the 2nd Annual "Name the Tea Contest". The selection of jellies, herbal, coffee, beer and wine has increased. Currently all are made using Certified Organic or locally sourced herbs from growers using organic and sustainable practices.

Visit Food News at for lots of articles and information concerning food, gardening, and food in the news.

May your gardens be abundant.


Bloomington, as most readers would agree, has a notable, functional, people-powered food security infrastructure to address hunger resulting from poverty. The product of decades of continuous hard work, the folks of these community organizations provide the town with a peace of mind that would otherwise not be available, and is (unfortunately) seldom found on this scale in towns throughout the US.

Most of these folks come together with a pretty straightforward goal: provide a consistent source of wholesome nutrition for every member of the community. Food security, like physical and health security, is considered by many a basic human right, and with it comes a collective responsibility. These issues are handled in many ways, from neighbors providing mutual aid, to centralized services provided by local, state and federal government. Some believe that food security can and should be kept without encouraging the exploitation of those providing and receiving these vital services(a constant risk when the solutions to such basic human rights issues are made into commodities). One group of Bloomington residents respond to this concern by not only providing free, nutritious food, but by sourcing it outside any monetary system. Free food, made free.

With the slogan 'Solidarity, not Charity!', B-Town Food Not Bombs has been a fixture in the local community, on and off, for nearly ten years and FNB has been around globally since 1980. As the group's name indicates, they can trace their roots to the Nuclear Disarmament movement of the '80s and are committed against violence and state aggression. The central difference between FNB and other groups/collectives is their penchant for sourcing their delicious (as the author and many residents can attest) vegan or vegetarian meals from no-cost, local sources. These are often vendors such as grocery stores, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) groups, local farmers and backyardeners whose donated food would have gone to waste for one reason or another, but is otherwise perfectly good and ready for our and our neighbor's plate.

The 'feeding frenzies' are free to all and take place in public spaces (here at Peoples Park most Sunday evenings) as a way to combat hunger but to also encourage real, meaningful discussion and action against poverty and issue that, even here, is kept more silent than it can and should be. That said, the folks are genuine, friendly and encourage a sense of community with all who attend. Cliquish-ness is discouraged by a common ground; fixing hunger.

So, as a member's invitation went one Sunday, 'B-Town Food Not Bombs presents a real, tasty meal! Come one, come all at 5:45 p.m. to People's Park. Bring the whole household, even pets! Tell a friend, tell a foe.' I'll see you there, in hunger and solidarity.

Kyle F is a recently transplanted Bloomington resident interested in food security and community-powered projects in general.'