Talk:Food Not Bombs

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): DrezWiki. Peer reviewers: EmmaSG, Alexrush1996, DrezWiki.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 21:35, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


IMO, this article does not present a neutral point of view. It seems to have been written from the point of view of a Food Not Bombs supporter and this creates problems of neutrality throughout.

It treats as fact the beliefs of the group: ...building communities that draw attention to the skewed corporate and government priorities causing hunger amidst abundance. It treats the aspirations of the group as having been achieved: ...everybody does an equal share of work, and has an equal say in making decisions... Probably that's not true, but it would be acceptable to say that this is a shared espoused goal of the group.

The section describing the confrontation between the City of San Francisco and Food Not Bombs is one sided. There is no description of the point of view of the City or the two mayors, only that the police "repressed" the group.

I'm planning to mark the article as having a NPOV dispute. Peter Hendrickson

You might want to list it on Cleanup to see if somebody can NPOV it. RickK 06:11, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Okay - done. I removed the NPOV Dispute tag. Thanks for the tip. Peter Hendrickson

I did some cleanup, removed the more blatant POV, asked for citations when applicable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:47, 17 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removing from cleanup, i think the npov issue is ok now, some fact-checking is probably in order though, i don't know what to do with "neck-snapping", depends on what really occurred. rhyax 09:13, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The article implies that one of the causes of food waste is "capitalism". I would like to see some proof of this. Peer-reviewed studies perhaps? Do capitalist economies actually produce more waste than centrally-planned economies? Or is that one of those "facts" that is too good to check?

It is rather unclear which part of the article you are refering to. The closest thing approximating your claim seems to be the following sentence: "The central belief behind the group is that a) if governments and corporations around the world spent as much time and energy on feeding people as they do on war, no one would go hungry, and b) that there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, but so much of it goes to waste needlessly, as a direct result of capitalism and militarism."
You will note that the sentence begins with "the central belief behind the group is that..." As such, the article is in no way endorsing this view, but rather describing it. It is entirely NPOV to describe the beliefs of this group as that is part of what this article exists to do. Kev 22:08, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Kev. The above is NPOV. But just some points to make... What Kev quotes doesn't imply that capitalism makes more waste while producing than does a centralized economy, but rather that capitalism doesn't allocate the food already produced to effectively deal with people's needs, so is wasting food by letting it go unconsummed or consummed by those who don't really need it, while others still starve. Also, capitalism vs centrally planned economy is a false dicotomy. Capitalism is more than just decentralized planning (considering the tendency towards monopoly, capitalism is more centralized than some traditional economies). millerc 21:38, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I have met some members of chapters of Food Not Bombs. Although I agree with their overall beliefs, they tend not to be hungry, homeless or disenfranchised. Plus, since most of them "dumpster dive" for food, they are inadvertently part of the system they are fighting, part of the "food chain" In parts of the world where people are actually hungry there are no dumpsters to dive in or large corporate grocery stores to support collective "waste" food gathering and equal distribution. However, the overall premise is sound and if "Food Not Bombs" brings exposure to the worldwide problem of hunger caused by corporate greed then they have my support. A good example of corporate greed affecting the lives of poor people is the Aral Sea incident and the communities that had lived along it's shores for generations

I actually participate in Food Not Bombs in Modesto, CA, and thus have a first-hand account of what's going on. Yes, we dumpster a lot of our food, and it's nice when we can get all of it like that. Dumpster Divers are not "part of the system"; rather, we gain from the system's waste. In our capacity as Dumpsterers, we don't contribute to the system, we simply take the system's waste, and use it for other purposes. I'm not sure what you mean by "actually hungry," but if you look out into the streets of any major city in the US, you will find many people hungry. They might not all be starving, but many are never-the-less hungry (I'm not disputing that food is needed in the areas of the world that you mention, however that's not a problem that most FNB Activists have the resources to fix. The US, EU, and countless other governments, on the other hand, simply have other priorities, whereas their resources are overly adequate to help). Canaen 08:06, 23 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have removed the Disputed Neutrality tag, as it seems this debate has become either resolved, or at least moot. Canaen 08:11, 23 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I removed some inactive links on the page. Does anyone know of an FNB chapter operating in a small town? All the links are currently to chapters in large cities. It would be good to have at least one example of a small-town chapter.

Actually, I do. Ceres, CA, does Food Not Bombs, and has close ties to Modesto FNB. In fact, they share the same website.Canaen 08:06, 23 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Another Food Not Bombs "chapter" is in Charlottesville, Va. User:tobylaroni
Another small 'chapter' in Lancaster, PA ... I don't know how 'small-town' you want, Lancaster city is home to approx 55,000 ppl's a medium-large town I guess. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:59, 12 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This page has been duplicating the text several times, i deleted it again..does anyone know why this keeps happening?

War in Iraq[edit]

I changed the NPOV tone of "War on Iraq" to "invasion of Iraq", since that's the the linked-to article is called.

I disliked the sound of "Food not Bombs ... protests ... led to the largest international protest ever". The size of the protests against the invasion of Iraq is not relevant to Food not Bombs. --

Please sign all comments. I've added your IP for you this time.Canaen 02:51, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It technically 'was' an invasion of Iraq by America. Calling it so does not reflect POV any more than using the term "war" does. An An 02:25, 5 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just to be clear, NPOV stands for "Nuetral Point of View" so you changed the article to fit NPOV criteria from a subjective POV. You did not change the NPOV tone, you changed the POV tone. Angrynight 03:18, 28 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Crimethinc Link?[edit]

I have a question why the Crimethinc link is on this page under External Links. While there are many activists who are affiliated with FNB who are affiliated with Crimethinc, I do not feel that the connection is a direct one. This is not meant to indicate a support or opposition to Crimethinc itself. But by being the only non-FNB resource reference, it gives, in my opinion, undue importance on this group over many other consensus-based, nonviolence-oriented, vegan/vegetarian, and hunger/homelessness organizations or groups. There are many good links linked off of the Food Not Bombs website here User:tobylaroni

Add a couple of these other links, if you want to. Tom Harrison Talk 14:26, 16 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think within the article itself there should be an emphasis on the fact that food not bombs dumpsters the majority of their food. to me, thats what food not bombs is about. it could include a justification for this and possibly a demystification about the concept of eating what most consider garbage.


I'm surpised that nobody has included the practice of dumpster diving as a way to get food and supplies for Food Not Bombs. In the groups that I've known, it seems to have been a pretty important practice, but I may be wrong. User: 18:05, 31 March 2006

I agree. That's where 1 of 2 groups I've worked with got almost all of their food. It really depends on the climate, though, and "official" FNB practice is to get pre-dumpster waste. Canaen 00:24, 3 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thought it already did, but apparently it doesn't. I'll add it. (I just got back from FNB in fact, had yummy deep-fried tofu!).--The Ungovernable Force 00:33, 3 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm also suprised that there is no mention of anarchism (save for the template) or punk culture, both of which play heavily in the group. I just added anarchism to the see also section, but there should be more mention.--The Ungovernable Force 00:39, 3 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True. I find the Anarchism see also, in addition to the template to be a little redundant, but I don't have a real problem with it. Mutual aid should be in there too, if it isn't already. And Really Really Free Markets. I'll go check that. More than half our group is definitely made up of punk kids; I agree mention should be made, but let's try not to make it look like it's entirely a punk movement. Canaen 20:27, 3 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Terrorism Watch List[edit]

Why no reference to the FBI's Terrorism Watch List, on which Food Not Bombs was placed as number seven?

7, really? We're that much of a threat!? Awesome! You know your doing something right when the government considers a totally non-violent group to be terrorists, it shows we are a real threat to their power (actually, we're not, as much as I wish we were, but still). Yet another sign of how ridiculous the Green Scare is getting. Could you provide a source? I've heard once that FNB was mentioned in an anti-terror presentation at some college in texas, but I didn't know we were that high up on any official lists. The Ungovernable Force 04:14, 17 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ever listen to Riot Folk? Evan Greer has a song about FNB that mentions this. Canaen 04:23, 17 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, but more due to a lack of having any riot folk than due to my not wanting to listen. The Ungovernable Force 15:35, 17 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry I don't have a source with an official FBI list, no. But I am referring to that lecture given at some law school in Texas in which Food Not Bombs was mentioned as a terrorist threat, seventh on a list. Maybe the list is top secret, I don't know. I hoped someone else would know.

Can I remove this talk section if the only evidence is hearsay?

Rapid City[edit]

There is a thriving system in Rapid City, South Dakota headed by Ashley Heacock. Just though you should know and so you wouldn't kill me when I add RC


I think that Food Not Bombs should be taken off of the list of charities. I have never seen a chapter of Food Not Bombs which describes itself as a charity. Begintheend 01:46, 10 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interesting. We actually talk all the time about how we are not a charity, but honestly, for all intents and purposes we often times seem to be one. My chapter has a pamphlet with a section titled "Charity Never" which tries to describe the difference between charity and mutual aid, but honestly, there is rarely anything "mutual" about it. With the exception of a few people, most of the people we serve never do anything to reciprocate. Then again, most of us are pretty poor ourselves, so in a way it's not really charity (as described in the pamplet as "the rich and middle class [absolving] themselves of responsibility for the poor"). I think it's an area that really needs to be explored in the FNB experience, are we just a charity posturing as a radical group, or are we really something different? I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. As for whether we should remove ourselves from the list, I really don't know. Most outside observers probably would view it as a charity. It seems like the only people who would deny the label are the people involved. What do others think? The Ungovernable Force 11:15, 10 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think being in the category means that Wikipedia defines it as a charity, just that it may be talked about in that context. I expect there are a lot of groups who whould not describe themselves as charities. Maybe add something to first principles discussing the differences, and link to Mutualism (economic theory)? Tom Harrison Talk 13:18, 10 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the FNB groups where I have participated, we have also addressed ourselves as not being a charity. Of the FNB groups around here, there have been quite a few people who were once “receiving food” who are now cooking. I understand your point that it might not be an exact mutual exchange, but I do see it more as an example of direct action than charity. We are not trying to just make poverty easier; we are trying to address the waste and injustice of capitalism through direct action. I am not trying to make a big argument about it. If everyone else wants to leave it on the list of charities then lets leave it. Begintheend 11:11, 10 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's cool that you have some people working who you used to serve, we don't get too many people like that. We actually have the reverse, a lot of punks who used to help a lot now mainly come just to eat. Oh well. Actually, I started thinking that there are some groups (mainly traveling punks and anarchists) for whom mutual aid might be a good description. We occasionally get people who are passing through who will help cook and eat, and who I assume do this in other cities as well. For them it really is a mutual aid type of thing. When I was in Seattle I helped serve during a pro-immigrant protest when I ran accross the local FNB group, and in turn I got myself a free dinner. That is mutual aid. Heck, I get free lunch every Sunday at my local one too! It seems like the people for whom it truly is an act of mutual aid are the anarchists and punks. But for the majority of the regular servees, it's not so obvious. Just something to think about, not trying to get into a debate. I think it's important to really get behind the rhetoric and examine how close we are to what we say, and possibly work on fixing it if we need to. Ungovernable ForceThe Wiki Kitchen! 21:38, 10 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The term charity has a very technical definition. It implies that an organisation has charitable rather than political purpose (borderline for FNB), it also implies that such an organization has a hierarchical organization with a board of trustees who are supposed to have control. I see no reason why it should be place in the charities category as it implies ideas about the organization which are not true. It may also have a legal implication as organisations can only call themselves charities if they are registered with the appropriate bodies. The FNB web-site goes to some length to explain why they are not a charity. --Salix alba (talk) 13:44, 18 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

moving stuff about dumpster diving[edit]

someone recently moved the bit about dumpster diving from the intro into the body of the text. I didn't want to revert it since it doesn't seem that important, but I did want to maybe bring it up here. I personally think that's very important and probably should be in the intro. What do others think? Ungovernable ForceThe Wiki Kitchen! 02:54, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd think either Dumpster diving or Freeganism should be up front, but I admit broad ignorance on the outlook of FNB activists. --Aelffin 02:57, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I speak as a "veteran" member of FNB, but in the "veteran=past" way, not "veteran=decadesOfService" way ;) I was the one who changed it, I think the concept itself is often used in FNB, but it is also often shunned by individual FNBs who instead rely on the surplus food that would be destroyed at bakeries and grocery stores. I don't mind mentioning it in the article, of course, but I think having it right in the opening text is going to give novice readers a "bad taste" about FNB that isn't neccessarily a fair one to have. You could say "An Islamic Fundamentalist is somebody who kills outsiders...", but while it might be appropriate to discuss further in the article, it paints a broad brushstroke across an entire demographic if it's used in the introduction. Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 11:06, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you consider it to be that bad of a thing. It's not as bad as the example you gave by any means. Whatever. Ungovernable ForceThe Wiki Kitchen! 06:11, 27 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Krzysztof Wantoch-Rekowski[edit]

Just spotted Food Not Bombs activist detained in Poland. --Salix alba (talk) 12:59, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Was the logo chosen to counterpoint that of the Strategic Air Command? Tom Harrison Talk 02:25, 27 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Don't know. Maybe. Ungovernable ForceThe Wiki Kitchen! 06:09, 27 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FNB logo copyrighted?![edit]

I would appreciate feedback at Image talk:Food Not Bombs logo.png. Also see User talk:Nv8200p#Image:Food Not Bombs logo.png for more info. Thanks. Ungovernable ForceGot something to say? 22:51, 23 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


On what basis is this organization anarchist? Nothing in the article indicates such. - MSTCrow 11:00, 21 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Food not bombs is not an anarchist organization, it members are of a wide variety of social and political beliefs, and are not all anarchists. Because of this i have deleted the Anarchism sidebar, if any sidebar should be present here it should be some vegan or vegaterian one. - (DrakeLuvenstein (talk) 08:30, 9 October 2008 (UTC))Reply[reply]

I would plea that although anarchism is not central to the FNB movement, it is relevant enough to be mentioned as an ideology in the article Ajkochanowicz (talk) 04:51, 2 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that if the orginization is related or anarchism, it should be refelcted in the article somehow, perhaps someone more knowlegeble could add that information to it.


Where and when is the next free food tour? It would be lovely if the menu included a little bit of fat succulent factory chicken and curry. Also, it would be better if mango juice replaces orange. I am kinda hungry now.Anwar (talk) 12:12, 13 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I've never seen the term disenfranchised used other then when people had lost their citizenship and or been stripped of their right to vote. In the article it seems to infer that poor and homeless people are disenfranchised when it says "poor, homeless and other disenfranchised people" Maybe it is another use of the term that i never heard of but and wikipedia don't mention any use of disenfranchised that would make this sentence correct.

Although vegan, and sympathetic to the poor and/or homeless, I certainly have no connection to FNB; however, in reply to the above, apart from them not being on electoral registers in many parts of the world, I'm certain that someone living in the streets and needing food today has more vastly pressing concerns than voting for a Republican or a Democrat. No matter how strong the fervour in the GOP or the DNC to house or feed the homeless.
Any Representative of either understands it is all very complex and that all monies are first needed to fund their own election races before being applied to the truly poor. If the homeless want change they can give generously to PACs and subsidize the establishment. Claverhouse (talk) 20:41, 21 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Basic Description[edit]

I believe that the word "grassroots" should be mentioned in the first paragraph in this article in order to provide a basic description of Food Not Bombs entities. Ajkochanowicz (talk) 04:50, 2 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

the article is a start, here are a few other areas that may be worth a mention

further details on the history of the SF chapter in the 80s,90s

FNB outside the united states, particularly violence, such as attacks in Russia

soupstock 2000 (an enormous and notable concert in dolores park, san francisco, which drew thousands, featured fugazi, sleater-kinney, others)

The Food Not Bombs 'Menu', a newsletter composed from various chapters

Organizations which may have originated from FNB activists, such as Homes Not Jails

criticisms of FNB --- some can be found from anarchists, others from mainstream charities or public health authorities —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:49, 10 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Idea for Sourcing[edit]

Consider adding some information about how the federal government has contributed to the problem of people living on the streets. For example, how public housing have been turned into for-profit developments, making them unavailable to low-income people.I think this could be a great example to flesh out your contribution. Heres a source I found that could maybe help with this- [1] Npfarr (talk) 16:07, 7 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Messman, Terry; Gans, Lydia (2012). ""Homeless Push Back—Take Over Vacant Building in San Francisco."". Race, Poverty & the Environment. vol.19: pp. 53-54. {{cite journal}}: |volume= has extra text (help); |page= has extra text (help)

Overall Analysis[edit]

I'm not sure how much or what part was contributed to the group project I will be referencing, but all in all this is a pretty sound page in terms of publishable content. Aside from a few grammatical errors that I saw in the intro, on the surface, this looks to be pretty fine. However, some of the sources may need to be double checked and updated, seeing as how the article could have been up for a couple of years. Lorealhawk (talk) 00:04, 7 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Lorealhawk: do you feel that sources need to be checked when articles have been online for a couple of years, more so than if articles have been online for a few months or a couple of decades? MPS1992 (talk) 01:15, 7 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Lorealhawk: MPS1992 (talk) 01:15, 7 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Analysis - I think this article is very strong and actually really interesting. I never knew about this program and I think it is great. The content is strong with evidence but there are some aspects that are one-sided. I found a few run-on sentences but those are very easy to fix. Overall I think it is a strong informative article.Hengle (talk) 23:44, 7 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Peer Review Overall, I found the 'Food Not Bombs' page to be very informative, thorough, and well-researched. I will say however that it is important to remain objective. At times I felt like the writers were supporters of 'Food Not Bombs' rather than objective learners. I found this to be a problem especially in the section entitled "Lack of Nutrition in Neo-Liberalism". Would it be possible to do more research on some of the active chapters of the organization? This might help flesh out your page. Lastly, in the "In Anarchy" section, I didn't know what you were referring to when you said, "social understanding" ("leading to a large misuse of natural resources and social understanding"). Ksugseed (talk) 20:39, 10 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

After Reading this article, I found it to be very informative and an interesting read. I had noticed that there are small but noticeable grammatical errors throughout the article. I would go back through and proofread to clean up those minor mistakes. I thought the article had a lot of deal and had covered a lot of key points. However, I believe when it comes to the topic of effects on the economy, There should be more examples and understanding. Maybe you should take about how it affected certain areas within the economy. How does it affect state local economies and broaden the effect on the national level? Also, the last sentence under effects of the economy should be looked at. there should be a reference to that remark to hold it credible. Bgreen29 (talk) 20:53, 10 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rusty Davis Peer review - Hey guys, I thought that your article was very good at outlining the topic you guys chose. You explained what the group does, the history behind it, and some other interesting things about it. Generally, there is not much I would change about this article except for one thing. The section "Lack of Nutrition in Neo-Liberalism" I think is very unnecessary to the topic. If this is something that the organization actually says, I think that you should specify that because the way it is written, it seems like it is trying to defend or voucher for the group. It actually kind of seems like it is politically biased. This isn't good for a Wikipedia article so I would recommend removing it. Other than that, the only other things are some sentences in the article which are:

"Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer global movement that shares free vegan meals as a protest to war and poverty. " I would remove this sentence because you already say this in your introduction.

"Food Not Bombs was founded in 1980 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by anti-nuclear activists Keith McHenry,[3] Jo Swanson, Mira Brown, Susan Eaton, Brian Feigenbaum, C.T. Lawrence Butler,[4] Jessie Constable and Amy Rothstien" I would remove all of the names because it is unnecessary.

"The first arrests for sharing free food were on August 15, 1988 at the entrance to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California" I was unaware that you could get arrested for food so I would try to add that to this or specify why specifically they were arrested.

"During a presentation to the University of Texas at Austin in 2006, an FBI counter-terrorism official labeled Food Not Bombs and Indymediaas having possible terrorist connections" Specify why they thought that the group had terrorist connections because that is important information.

Those are the only complaints I have. Other than that, great article.

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Neutrality dispute[edit]

This article seems 100% sympathetic to the organization, including undue, epic legal & political details in unencyclopedic terms. (talk) 07:41, 28 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Care to quote examples from the article to support the tags you added? Hussierhussier1 (talk) 05:21, 8 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tucson Food Not Bombs is now Tucson Food Share.why?[edit]

Why 2600:8800:7D14:7B00:4435:FAF:57BD:1F6A (talk) 14:58, 19 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]