Proposal: Food Not Bombs media affinity group

topic posted Wed, October 26, 2005 - 6:36 PM by  Tim
I am looking to organize with Food Not Bombs volunteers throughout the country to create a much stronger national Food Not Bombs media network.

I am proposing that we form a national FNB media affinity group. I have many ideas of what form this group could take, but I would much rather develop a vision for the group collaborativly. For now, I just want to find other people interested in having a conversation about what such a group could look like, and suggest some logical starting points, and also suggest some creative projects that we could collaborate on.

Imagine if in every city where there was a Food Not Bombs chapter, there was also a seperate affinity group for Food Not Bombs media activists. The role of this affinity group would be to coordinate media on a local level, and also to provide a stable, reliable national media infrastructure for the food not bombs network.

I am interested in coming up with simple project ideas that can be done in multiple cities simultaneously, as a way of promoting greater interconnectedness between FNB chapters in different cities.

One simple project I would like to start is a flyer library. Flyers are a great way of preserving the history and culture of a social movement. I have a large collection of Food Not Bombs flyers. I have started scanning them in and uploading them to this tribe, as a way of promoting the idea of an online flyer library. Imagine if every city kept an organized archive of flyers for protests, shows, benefits, events, servings... imagine if you could go online and view that archive for any city.

Another project I want to start is a Food Not Bombs oral history project. I want to create an in depth study of the history of the food not bombs movement, and hte history of other similar social movements that came before Food Not Bombs. If you go to, you will see the online history archive of the san francisco Diggers, who were a direct predecessor to Food NOt Bombs. Imagine if FNB had it's own similar archive.

In the early nineties, Keith McHenry used to publish a newsletter called "A Food Not Bombs Menu", which was largely a colection of xeroxed newspaper clippings and flyers which were sent in from around the country. Imagine if we started a new national online Food Not Bombs newspaper. Also, I have seen many references to a Food Not Bombs Radio Network. Imagine if we created our own weekly Food Not Bombs radio show, using the same development model as Free Speech Radio News. Imagine if this weekly radio show was available as an MP3 which could be distributed online, downloaded onto an ipod, and played through a boombox at cookhouses or FNB servings throughout the country.

Imagine if in addition to this general Food Not Bombs tribe, there was a tribe created for each local chapter.

These are just a few ideas. I am just testing the waters, to see if anyone there is interested in talking more about this. In time, I will develop a more organized, more coherant proposal for this idea, hopefully with input from lots of other people.
Please respond if you are interested.

posted by:
offline Tim
SF Bay Area
  • Re: Proposal: Food Not Bombs media affinity group

    Sun, November 13, 2005 - 9:07 AM
    I've been thinking about just this very issue, as it seems like a method to attract many volunteers with interest in media-activism - and/or people whose expertise and creative abilities can be a very positive asset to the FNB mission. I would love to help out in the Southern AZ and or South West region. The more we make historically accurate information available connecting individual FNB actions to national or even international presence, the more we'll build momentum for FNB efforts.

    The importance of a historical archive made available online is also very important.

    Best of luck,

    Daniel (Tucson, AZ)
  • I think Tim has a good idea. I would be happy to help. We also have Food Not Bombs News at Please visit the site. They have a questionare. I could post the Menu as a PDF file on
    If the media Affinity group started it could add to fnbnews by including local mainstream media outreach
    I also go to google, click on news and type in "Food Not Bombs" in the search window. It has great information anoout Food Not Bombs actions.
    I like Tim's general idea and would like to support it in any way I can.
  • Isn't FNB supposed to be a grassroots movement with no central organization? One thing that initially attracted me to the group is that it generally operates in the field of most tangible results, the field of bellies being filled, and not the field of public relations and politics. In fact, when I'm out there feeding people and they ask me who I'm with, I give them no name and tell them that my friends and I just want to see more people feeling better with some good food in their stomachs.

    In all honesty, I would question the motivations of anyone who wanted to take FNB to greater levels of organization because I see the effectiveness of these groups being in their ability to operate under the radar. At least here in Jacksonville, FL, I don't see any need to make a name for myself and my peers when the true focus is spreading love and smiles in a direct way. I'm not trying to talk you out of anything, in part because I don't think I could talk you out of it, but nor do I give any support to what seems to me the potential beginning of another positive social movement being co-opted by the hollowness of politics and thus stifled by the insincere fad-minded folks. Judging by history, it's only a matter of time.

    "Not exalting the gifted prevents quarrelling.
    Not collecting treasure prevents stealing.
    Not seeing desirable things prevents confusion of the heart.
    The wise therefore rule by emptying hearts and stuffing bellies, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.
    If people lack knowledge and desire, then intellectuals will not try to interfere.
    If nothing is done, then all will be well."

    -Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching