*UPDATED* FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE – End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry.

March 30, 2012
By

The campaign starts on Sunday, April 1, 2012.  We intend to keep up the pressure until there are no longer any efforts to regulate the sharing of food. The national day of action for human rights and the equality of homeless people is this Sunday, April 1st in cities on an international scope! Actions and activities will take place in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Houston, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Grand Rapids, Durango, and Nashville as well as in Monterrey, Mexico and Birmingham in the U.K. and elsewhere.

The number of people and groups contacting us to offer support is growing by the hour. We can’t thank you all enough.

Please take action this Sunday by helping and especially speaking with homeless people in your community about the hunger and discrimination they face, and see what can be done to improve this enduring human rights crisis!

Please comment on this post or e-mail menu@foodnotbombs.net if you would like to be directed to a nearby event on April 1st or need help starting your own.

 

 

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Every day we learn of new efforts to regulate the sharing of food.  We are writing to ask for your support. Our office has seen a huge increase in reports of people and groups being stopped for sharing food with the hungry. There is also a new wave of laws restricting the sharing of food. The expense and regulation required by authorities makes it impossible to provide help. In many cities you can be jailed for weeks and even months for sharing meals with the hungry. Many of our volunteers have been arrested and held for days for their acts of compassion. Please consider endorsing our campaign and issuing a statement of support.

Thanks for your consideration.

Keith McHenry and Kathy Mitro

 

March 31, 2011

CONTACT:

Keith McHenry
575-770-3377
menu@foodnotbombs.net
www.foodnotbombs.net/food_is_a_right.html

Kathy Mitro
386-795-9643
kathymitro@yahoo.com

FOOD IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVILEGE

Sharing food with the hungry is an unregulated act of kindness.
End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry.
Rescind all laws restricting compassion.

“THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO GIVE OUT FOOD, THERE IS ONLY GIVING OUT ALL THE FOOD YOU CAN”
- Kathy Mitro who posted a petition on line after being threatened with arrest for sharing food in Daytona Beach. Florida in January 2012

We are proposing that people all over the world consider sharing free meals in celebration our right to food and participate in our campaign for an end to laws restricting acts of compassion. Celebrate our right to feed the hungry with music, theater, and the sharing of food.

SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2012

It has been distressing to receive so many reports in the past few weeks of people being threatened with arrest or cities adopting new laws limiting people’s right to share free food with the public.  People in England, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Florida contacted Food Not Bombs about having been threatened with arrest. Others report that their local governments are considering laws to limit acts of compassion.

This new wave of threats is happening as half of all Americans are struggling to survive. The Department of Agriculture’s February report shows that 46,286,294 people relied on food stamps in November of 2011. People have been arriving at Food Not Bombs meals claiming they had not eaten in four days because other food programs had exhausted their resources. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 1 in 7 people or 925 million people world wide  went hungry in 2010. We are announcing a global campaign to recognize that sharing food with the hungry is an unregulated activity of compassion and should not be interfered with by the authorities.

Our movement started when the “Diggers” occupied St George’s Hill in Surrey, England on April 1, 1649 in a protest for the right of landless people to feed themselves. We are announcing our global campaign for the right of all people to share food with the hungry without regulation on the anniversary of the first act of the peaceful resistance by the “Diggers” of St George’s Hill.

The public is encouraged to share meals with their community on Sunday, April 1, 2012  to celebrate our right to share food and end all efforts to restrict acts of compassion. Please email our office so we can post your event on our website.

FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE – End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry
http://www.foodnotbombs.net/food_is_a_right.html

ENDORSED BY


  • Barbara Ehrenreich – author of Nickel and Dimed
  • Dr. Cornel West – author and professor Princeton University
  • Noam Chomsky – author and professor M.I.T.
  • Michael Parenti – author and lecturer
  • Raj Patel – author of Stuffed and Starved
  • Eric Holt-Giménez – Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy
  • Bill McKibben – author Deep Economy
  • David Barsamian – founder and director of Alternative Radio
  • David Rovics – Musician, USA
  • Kevin Devine – Musician, Brooklyn, NY
  • Dorinda Moreno – Fuerza Mundial Collaborative
  • Rev. Brian Burch – President, St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society
  • Francisca James Hernández, Ph.D. – Southwest Institute for Research on Women
  • Kathy Kelly – Co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
  • Max Ventura – Musician, Activist, Mom, USA
  • Michele Burke – St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Rabbi. Auri V. Ish – Musician, Nederland Colorado
  • Christina Persaud – Halifax Nova Scotia
  • Can Baskent – Practical Anarchy, New York City
  • Planting Justice – Oakland, CA
  • KT Terry – Founder Homeless Not Hopeless Poets For Change
  • Marian Wagner – The North Country Coalition for Justice and Peace, East Ryegate, Vermont
  • Tessza Udvarhelyi – The City is for All, Budapest, Hungary
  • Tristram Stuart – organized “Feeding the 5000″in London’s Trafalgar Square UK
  • Kathy Mitro – Daytona Beach, Florida USA
  • Agustina Vidal – Myrtle Beach Food Not Bombs
  • Birmingham Food Not Bombs – Birmingham, UK
  • Keith McHenry – Co-founder of the Food Not Bombs Movement
  • Lauren Melodia – Founder & Co-organizer Milk Not Jails USA
  • Tom Ferguson – Author, Atlanta, Gerogia USA
  • Comida, no bombas – Monterrey, Mexico
  • Tampa Food Not Bombs - Tampa, Florida USA
  • Grand Rapids Food Not Bombs - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
  • The Civil Liberties Defense Center - Eugene, Oregon, USA
  • Durango Food Not Bombs – Durango, Colorado, USA
  • Houston Food Not Bombs – Houston, Texas, USA
  • Budapest Food Not Bombs – Budapest, Hungary
  • Randall Amster – Chair of the Master’s Program in Humanities at Prescott College, and also serves as the Executive Director of the Peace & Justice Studies Association. USA
  • Ellen Murphy – Bellingham, WA, USA
  • Cincinnati Food Not Bombs – Cincinnati, OH, USA
  • Miakoda (jyll taylor) – founder & director of Fierce Allies
  • Washington D.C. Food Not Bombs – Washington D.C. USA
  • Christy Prahl – New Communities Program Director – Humboldt Park, Chicago, IL
  • Buffalo Food Not Bombs – Buffalo, NY, USA
  • Cranford Joseph Coulter – founder and director or The King’s Jubilee, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Hector Lopez – Constable of New Canaan, New Canaan, CT, USA
  • Sanjay Kharod – Executive Director New Orleans Food & Farm Network (NOFFN), New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Carol Denney – musician, Editor of the Pepper Spray Times, founder of Fiddlers for Peace
  • Las Vegas Food Not Bombs – Las Vegas, NV USA
  • Gail Sacco – Homeless Advocate, Las Vegas, NV USA
  • Molly D. Anderson – Partridge Chair in Food & Sustainable Agriculture Systems, Bar Harbor, ME, USA
  • Dr. Will Tuttle – author, The World Peace Diet, and co-founder, Circle of Compassion
  • Don McCormick – Trustee Patient Physician Cooperatives Houston, TX and Portland, OR, USA
  • James Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan – Co-Directors EON, The Ecological Options Network
  • Vancouver Catholic Worker – Vancouver BC Canada
  • Theresa and Blase Bonpane – Directors Office of the Americas, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Don Madden – Grass Valley, CA, USA
  • Peter Phillips – President: Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored
  • Jack & Felice Cohen-Joppa – editors the Nuclear Resister, Tucson, AZ, USA

 

###

PLEASE ENDORSE THIS CAMPAIGN
Please consider endorsing this nonviolent campaign. Email us you name, position and city or if your group is endorsing the name of your organization and city. Seek to overturn all local laws restricting the sharing of food.
Thanks so much.

menu@foodnotbombs.net

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
The current cities actively seeking to restrict the sharing of food are Santa Monica, Minsk,  Houston, Los Angeles, Daytona Beach, Tampa, St Petersburg,  Dallas, Myrtle Beach, Philadelphia.

 

SAMPLE STATE LAW PROTECTING THE RIGHT OF ALL TO SHARE FOOD WITHOUT REGULATION
Connecticut General Statute 19A-36 was changed on October 3, 2009

According to Peter Goselin, one of the lawyers for Food Not Bombs, “the amended state statute not only protects free distribution of food to people who need it in Connecticut, but should be viewed as a model for other states to follow so that faith-based and civic organizations can do what is needed. This is particularly important given news released today that one in six Americans now live in poverty.”*

http://middletowneyenews.blogspot.com/2009/10/cease-and-desist-lifted-for-food-not.html

*In 2011 that figure increased to one in two Americans live in poverty - http://www.foodnotbombs.net/poverty and food stamps flyer.pdf

A PLACE AT THE TABLE
http://www.foodnotbombs.net/A_Place_at_the_Table.pdf

Food is a Right Jean Ziegler
http://www.righttofood.org/

Hunger Is a ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’, says Jean Ziegler

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Hunger-Is-a-Weapon-of-Mas-by-Siv-O-Neall-120120-44.html

SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM:  NUMBER OF PERSONS PARTICIPATING
http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/29snapcurrpp.htm

2012 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics Food and Agriculture Organization
http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world 20hunger facts 202002.htm

Anti-Poverty Groups Alarmed At Obama Budget
http://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133756360/Anti-Poverty-Groups-Alarmed-At-Obama-Budget

 

 

PETITIONS
If you have been threatened with arrest for sharing food please contact us. menu@foodnotbombs.net
Speaker of the House: Change the laws that criminalize sharing food with
hungry individuals
http://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-change-the-laws-that-criminalize-sharing-food-with-hungry-individuals

Allow Food Not Bombs Myrtle Beach to Feed the
Hungry
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/allow-food-not-bombs-myrtle-beach-to-feed-people/

The City of Dallas: Stop
threatening people for feeding the homeless
http://www.change.org/petitions/the-city-of-dallas-stop-threatening-people-for-feeding-the-homeless

NEW REPORTS ON EFFORTS TO LIMIT THE SHARING OF MEALS

National group organizes to help hungry in Ithaca
http://theithacan.org/21572

BELARUS

Food Not Bombs activists to stand trial after riot police's raid on charity concert in Minsk

http://naviny.by/rubrics/english/2012/03/25/ic_articles_259_177292

FORT LAUDERDALE
Lauderdale homeless situation must change, officials say
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/fl-lauderdale-homeless-problems-20120221,0,7500001.story

SANTA MONICA
Santa Monica City Council plans to vote on a new law requiring groups to get a permit to share meals with 75 or more people. At the same time they a similar Community Bill of Rights ordinance that we are using to support the right to share food without regulation. The community is encouraged to contact the Santa Monica City Council before the Tuesday, February 21, 2012 meeting and ask them not to pass the Gathering Permits law. Thanks

Gathering permits
Gatherings including more than 75 people on the Third Street Promenade will need to get a permit in the future after the City Council took its first vote on an ordinance changing the permitting rules. Staff cited space constraints and safety as reasons for the change.

A night with Santa Monica Food Not Bombs
http://youtu.be/0z3tTv8GC8Y

Previously, it took over 150 people to require a permit.
http://www.smdp.com/Articles-local-news-c-2012-02-15-73480.113116-Council-wrap-More-eateries-on-Main-development-sees-changes.html

Feeding homeless in public raising concerns yet again
http://www.smdp.com/Articles-local-news-c-2011-11-22-72994.113116-Feeding-homeless-in-public-raising-concerns-yet-again.html

PHILADELPHIA

“Food Safety and Public Feeding”
http://www.change.org/petitions/food-is-a-right-not-a-privilege#share

We are asking the Philadelphia Public Health Department not make any rules regulating the sharing of food with the hungry. No one has ever been made ill from eating free meals shared with hungry in Philadelphia and regulations are more likely to reduce the number of people able to help and force the hungry to seek food out of the garbage or face malnutrition. These regulations are not necessary to protect the safety of those seeking free food and will cause many more people to go hungry.  Philadelphia is one of the ten poorest cities in the United States. One in two Americans are struggling to survive and any proposal to regulate acts of compassion in the City of Brotherly Love are contrary to the spirit of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner’s Office Representative, Sandra Greene
Sandra.greene@phila.gov

Arguments about food safety rules should consider the homeless people being served
February 21, 2012
http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/component/flexicontent/item/34081-arguments-about-food-safety-rules-for-homeless-should-consider-the-people-being-served
Philadelphia may start requiring permits for those who feed the homeless
February 10, 2012
http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/health-science-multimedia/item/33820-philadelphia-may-start-requiring-permits-for-those-who-feed-the-homeless

Proposed rules for feeding homeless on Parkway assailed February 9, 2012
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/139063949.html

Proposed rules for feeding homeless on Parkway assailed
http://articles.philly.com/2012-02-09/news/31042407_1_regulation-bad-policy-shelters

Ronnie Polaneczky: Dinner for the homeless, with a side of dignity
http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/ronnie_polaneczky/20120214_Ronnie_Polaneczky__Dinner_for_the_homeless__with_a_side_of_dignity.html

Let Donald F. Schwarz, know there should be no restrictions to the sharing of food in Philadelphia

Donald F. Schwarz, MD, MPH
Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity and
Health Commissioner
1401 JFK Blvd, Room 600
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Telephone: 215-686-5000
Fax: 215-686-5212
healthdept@phila.gov

MYRTLE BEACH

Horry County Police arrest 10 people in Myrtle Beach area homeless camp sweep – February, 21, 2012
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2012/02/21/2673510/police-continue-homeless-sweeps.html

WMBF Special Report: Homeless Bound
http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/10779717/wmbf-special-report-homeless-bound

Myrtle Beach Deals With Homeless, Or Do They?
http://www.nowpublic.com/health/myrtle-beach-deals-homeless-or-do-they

Please Don’t Feed Our Homeless, Many Cities Say
http://news.change.org/stories/please-dont-feed-our-homeless-many-cities-say

DETAILS ON THE DIGGERS

Our movement started when the “Diggers” occupied St George’s Hill in Surrey, England on April 1, 1649 in a protest for the right of landless people to feed themselves. Consider preforming the World Turned Upside Down at your meal on April 1, 2012.

The English Diggers
http://www.diggers.org/english_diggers.htm

‪The World Turned Upside Down – The Diggers – Leon Rosselson‬ text
http://www.diggers.org/english_diggers.htm#worl

‪The World Turned Upside Down – The Diggers – Leon Rosselson‬ music video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=594JpY2ahFg

GET INVOLVED, PASS THE NEWS, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MEDIA AND ORGANIZE AN ACTION IN YOUR COMMUNITY.

PRINT OUT FLYER
http://www.foodnotbombs.net/food is a right day of compassion flyer.pdf

PRINT OUT FLYER ANNOUNCING THE TIME AND LOCATION OF YOUR CELEBRATION
http://www.foodnotbombs.net/food is a right diggers
flyer.pdf

FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE – End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry
http://www.foodnotbombs.net/food_is_a_right.html

FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE – End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry on blog.foodnotbombs.net

http://blog.foodnotbombs.net/food-is-a-right-not-a-privilege-end-all-efforts-to-stop-people-from-feeding-the-hungry/

FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE – End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Food-is-a-Right-Not-a-Privilege/370091826334550

PLEASE FORWARD- thanks!

Tags:

11 Responses to *UPDATED* FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE – End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry.

  1. Keith McHenry on February 14, 2012 at 12:10 am

    FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE – End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry on Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Food-is-a-Right-Not-a-Privilege/370091826334550

  2. Keith McHenry on February 14, 2012 at 12:19 am

    GLOBAL AWARENESS OF FOOD SHARING PROHIBITION LAWS DAY or
                    ANY MANNER OF SHARING FOOD IS AN INALIENABLE RIGHT DAY or
                    THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO SHARE FOOD DAY

    Date: April 1,2012 Sunday

    Purpose: To bring awareness to the general public of the existence of laws that make it a criminal action for an individual to feed a hungry individual.

    General notes: This day is intended to make public knowledge of laws, that prevent individuals with food  from feeding individuals that are hungry.
    Because these laws are little known to public they are running unchecked and proliferating at an incredible rate in each small community and town in the United State.
    The goal of this day is to make known there is no RIGHT way to pass out food, there is only passing out as much food as you possibly can.
    Currently these laws tell us there is only one way to pass out food in a community and that you either share food in an extremely complicated manner or you risk fine and arrest if the food is not passed through their right food maze.
    These laws are preventing people with rescued food from putting it  into a hungry mouths and instead, put beautiful edible food into our landfills thus contributing to the pollution of our environment.
    We must back the President in his pledge to eradicate childhood (and adult) hunger.
    This can only be accomplished through sharing.
    THOSE WITH FOOD MUST BE ALLOWED TO SHARE THAT FOOD IN ANY MANNER THAT IS AVAILABLE TO THEM.
    Laws put into effect by the Bill Clinton administration have been put into place to encourage this type of food rescue and to also protect the donors. More information on this law at  http://www.usda.gov/news/pubs/gleaning/seven.htm
    OUR GOAL; To have these food sharing prohibition laws repealed at the top level of government
    WHAT WE WANT THE READER OF THIS FLYER TO DO:
    ANY BUSINESS THAT IF FOOD RELATED WE WANT YOU ON THIS DAY TO GIVE OUT SOME SORT OF FREE FOOD making people aware of the reason you are doing so. Remember this is food rescue so this food should be perfectly edible food that was destined for the garbage can if not for this food giveaway.
    INDIVIDUALS: We want you to go into your kitchens make food and walk around in your communities passing it out to the hungry. What a feel good thing to share food.
    BUSINESS PEOPLE : Share your networking with us help us to get the word out on this day. Help us to print flyers,help us to network on the internet.
    ALL PEOPLE READING THIS FLYER; Petitions to repeal these food sharing laws have been posted on Change.org in the Human Rights section. There are many of them, we ask you to please sign each one and add the power of your voice that these laws are not serving our people,and we ask that they be repealed.
    THIS IS TO BE A GLOBAL DAY OF LOVE AND PEACE WITH FOOD AS IT’S CENTERPIECE . LET THE BEAUTY OF SHARING FOOD AND LOVE FLOW THROUGH THE ENTIRE WORLD ON THIS DAY. A DAY JUST TO ENJOY THE JOY OF BEING ALIVE.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION:
    CONTACTS
    Kathy Mitro
    386-795-9643
    kathymitro@yahoo.com

    Keith McHenry 
    575-770-3377                                                                    
    Food Not Bombs
    keith@foodnotbombs.net
    http://www.foodnotbombs.net/                 
                                                                         

  3. Michele Burke on February 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I absolutely endorse your campaign to allow all people of this earth to show compassion to less fortunate people by sharing food.

    I am from Newfoundland, Canada where the economy is not great. Many of the people of our province depend on the government and food banks in order to feed themselves and their families. I would hate to see what would happen, just in this province alone if the food banks were forced to close and the Federal government were to take the food budget away from these people. It would be “Murder” and mass murder at that.

    Jesus Christ shared with the poor as an example for us here on earth to follow and I don’t believe acts of compassion should be restricted. If we as a people are not allowed to be compassionate, what kind of civilization will we have. If we have to watch our friends and families die around us from starvation, what will that do to humanity? I know what I think it will do, it will destroy us.

    These people who are trying to incorporate these laws, obviously have not faced adversity themselves. They could be out of jobs tomorrow and be seeking ways then to feed themselves or their families. They are obviously are not thinking of that possibility.

    I find this obstruction to human compassion very disturbing.

    You may publish my name and address as I am not afraid to fight for this cause.

    Thank you for your time,

    Michele Burke
    St. John’s, Newfoundland
    Canada

  4. Karen on February 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I am also from Newfoundland.
    Are there any examples of this from Canada?

  5. [...] FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE ? End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry on blog.foodnotbombs.net http://blog.foodnotbombs.net/food-is-a-right-not-a-privilege-end-all-efforts-to-stop-people-from-fee… [...]

  6. [...] FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE – End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry onblog.foodnotbombs.net http://blog.foodnotbombs.net/food-is-a-right-not-a-privilege-end-all-efforts-to-stop-people-from-fee… [...]

  7. Keith McHenry on February 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    SAMPLE STATE LAW PROTECTING THE RIGHT OF ALL TO SHARE FOOD WITHOUT REGULATION
    Connecticut General Statute 19A-36 was changed on October 3, 2009

    According to Peter Goselin, one of the lawyers for Food Not Bombs, “the amended state statute not only protects free distribution of food to people who need it in Connecticut, but should be viewed as a model for other states to follow so that faith-based and civic organizations can do what is needed. This is particularly important given news released today that one in six Americans now live in poverty.”*

    http://middletowneyenews.blogspot.com/2009/10/cease-and-desist-lifted-for-food-not.html

    *In 2011 that figure increased to one in two Americans live in poverty – http://www.foodnotbombs.net/poverty and food stamps flyer.pdf

  8. Jessica Liddell on February 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I agree, food is a right!

  9. Rachel on February 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I’m pretty sure it’s a typo, but you have a date “April 1, 2012″ on there as when part of this was written. That should probably be fixed because some people might not take it seriously because of that one little thing.

    • Keith McHenry on March 3, 2012 at 2:23 am

      The event is April, 1, 2012 thanks

  10. [...] On the Food Not Bombs blog, in a Feb. 13 post requesting donations to continue their fight against food distribution ordinances, one of the organization’s founders quoted Daytona Beach activist Kathy Mitro: “There is no right way to give out food,” she proclaimed in all caps. “There is only giving out all the food you can.” [...]