Dane County Libertarians: Food Not Bombs feeds the hungry in Madison, WI

foodnot

Press Release:

LPDane: FOOD NOT BOMBS feeds the hungry at Farmers Market

“The best way to help hungry people is to take direct action and feed them ourselves. The absolute worst way is by feeding an expensive, corrupt, inefficient bureaucracy”, says Phil Anderson, President of the LPDane. “We’re doing this to feed our neighbors that need decent food, and to combat the false narrative the Libertarians don’t care.”

LPDane will be distributing food to homeless and hungry at the intersection of W. Mifflin St. and State St., next to the Dane County Farmers’ Market, beginning at 10am on Saturday August 8th, and will continue until all the food is distributed. All food is donated by local businesses.

Stephen Nass is the Vice-President of LPDane, and a trained chef. “In my line of work I see firsthand the amount of food we waste every day. Americans discard over 40 percent of food that is produced. 1,400 calories worth of food is discarded per person each day, which adds up to 150 trillion calories a year. The United Nations reported in 2010 that all one billion people that go hungry could be fed by the food that is wasted every day. We’re taking direct action here, in our community.”

Food Not Bombs recovers food that would have been discarded and shares it as a way of protesting war and poverty. With fifty cents of every U.S. federal tax dollar going to the military and forty percent of food being discarded, while so many people were struggling to feed their families, Food Not Bombs hopes to inspire the public to press for decreases in military spending so that citizens can redirect their resources to helping their neighbors in need.

“If all of the well-meaning people who spend countless hours arguing politics, fighting over public funds, lobbying their elected officials, and complaining about the state of our nation and society, directed that energy and concern to directly helping the folks in their own communities, wasteful corrupt government would become less and less relevant as a means of trying to help people,” continues Anderson. “Governments and government officials have shown themselves repeatedly to be self-serving, wasteful and corrupt: the worst way to get almost anything done. If we really care, let’s do something different.”

LPDane is the Libertarian Party of Dane County, founded in December 2014. LPDane has 25 members, and meets the second Wednesday of each month for a business meeting followed by a social hour, open to the public. For more information, email president@LPDane.org , or visit www.LPDane.org . More information about Food Not Bombs can be found at www.FoodNotBombs.net

 

 

22 thoughts on “Dane County Libertarians: Food Not Bombs feeds the hungry in Madison, WI

  1. Matt Cholko

    I believe Food Not Bombs wants to redirect military spending to social welfare programs. I don’t think they’re at all libertarian. I’m not sure that I understand exactly what their role is here. Just thought I’d point that out.

  2. Andy Craig Post author

    From the FAQ on their website:

    “Food Not Bombs is trying to inspire the public to participate in changing society and focus our resources on solving problems like hunger, homelessness and poverty while seeking an end to war and the destruction of the environment. We are also showing by example that we can work cooperatively without leaders through volunteer effort to provide essential needs like, food, housing, education and healthcare. When over a billion people go hungry each day how can we spend another dollar on war?”

  3. paulie

    Yep, nothing about government welfare in there. Our resources can be focused by example without leaders through volunteer effort. Sounds good to me!

  4. Matt Cholko

    Well, upon further review…..

    Their answer to Q10 pretty clearly states that they are advocating exactly what I said. Their answers to the other two questions seem to indicate a socialist leaning.

    Q10: Why do you think that Food Not Bombs is so controversial?

    The government and corporations find our message that we could redirect the taxes that currently are used on the military to fund things like education and healthcare a threat to their profits and power. They also worry that our sharing of food with the hungry shows that we can end hunger. They fear that the sharing of food and literature with the message Food Not Bombs in high visibility locations is an effective way to inspire public pressure for a change in our political and economic system. Two U.S. State Department officials gave a lecture in 2009 at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts comparing the group that shares vegan meals in parks and al-Qaeda saying that the people sharing the food were a greater threat then al-Qaeda because people visiting their meals would be influenced to support policies where tax dollars would be diverted from military spending towards education, healthcare and other social services.

    Q11: How does Food Not Bombs benefit people?

    Food Not Bombs provides more then free healthy vegan and vegetarian food, we provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in solving the most important problems facing our world. We are empowering the public to take action and resist corporate domination and exploitation. We also provide food and logistical support to often marginalized people and social movements including feeding striking workers and their families, people participating at protests and organizing community projects.

    Q12: What ideals does Food Not Bombs spread?

    Food Not Bombs supports sharing, respect, peace, cooperation, dignity, a nurturing of the environment and most of all optimism at a time when many are in despair. We also encourage a “Do It Yourself” feeling of empowerment and a rejection of the need to solve problems through violence including the violence of war, violence of poverty and violence against animals and the earth. We also show that it is not necessary to waste so much of the food that we work so hard to grow but organizing a voluntary system of food recovery and redistribution. No one should need to rely on a soup kitchen or charity when we have so much abundance. It is a matter of ending the domination of corporate power and providing access to participating in the making of decisions that effect our life and future. Food is right, not a privilege!

  5. paulie

    I still don’t see a problem. In what way are they doing anything except providing some somewhat obscure verbal support for the idea of redistributing tax money that is already being extorted from tax victims away from military activities that foster blowback and towards social welfare? Their concrete actions, as far as I know, consist of feeding people through volunteer efforts. Are they pumping money into lobbying or doing anything to work for increasing the amount of money being extorted? Not that I know of.

    Also, there’s nothing inherently unlibertarian about responses to Q11, and Q12 is fine until the final sentence. I think even most libertarians would agree that not allowing people to starve when there is plenty of food being wasted is a moral responsibility we have as a community, although it shouldn’t be a legal one.

  6. paulie

    Do you have anything on Food Not Bombs giving anything beyond moral support to government welfare, and even then only as a redistribution of tax money that is already being collected?

  7. Matt Cholko

    Interestingly, FNB makes a big deal about all of their meals being vegetarian, and, when possible, vegan. Yet, the picture above shows a bunch of salami.

  8. paulie

    Interestingly, FNB makes a big deal about all of their meals being vegetarian, and, when possible, vegan. Yet, the picture above shows a bunch of salami.

    Maybe the Food Not Bombs effort is not all that centrally managed.

  9. paulie

    Then it’s not surprising that some local efforts don’t follow the diktats of whoever put up the website regarding vegetarianism.

  10. Andy Craig Post author

    Even within a libertarian framework, I’d rather the government spend its ill-gotten money on those things (even regarding them as not being positives, even for the recipients), than on killing people and blowing things up and provoking more blowback and an endless cycle of perpetual war. And Paulie’s right, it’s less an organization than a meme. And even if it is a left-wing group that we’d disagree with on that stuff- since when has that stopped us from working together on areas of agreement for a good cause? (Not that they are ‘working with’ anybody from FNB so far as I know, LPDane did this on their own initiative)

    The way I take it is exactly like the famous Eisenhower quote, laying out the various things (miles of roads, new schools, etc.) that one of each various expensive military item is equal to. The point is purely about the resources lost and destroyed on militarism, not public v. private provision of those goods and services cited as examples. If the government didn’t spend that dollar on war, maybe it would go back to the taxpayer who could use it to feed the hungry, or maybe less preferably it would be wasted on an inefficient and less effective government bureaucracy. That’s another argument for another day.

    I wish I could be out in Madison tomorrow for this. Phil & Stephen and the others in LPDane have been seriously doing great getting the party up and running and thriving again in their area. They’ve had a weekly booth at the state capitol farmer’s market every Saturday all summer, plus regular meetings and social hours. Phil is also currently exploring a run for U.S. Senate. I wish I’d accomplished half as much in Milwaukee since I took that over in January.

    via FB:

    “Stephen Nass That was just the food I was able to collect. Sasha Anderson dropped off far more food, like a LOT more. This is all edible food that was not going to be sold but put in dumpsters instead.”

  11. Andy Craig Post author

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

    https://www.facebook.com/AndyCraig2016/photos/pb.688767697905012.-2207520000.1439012832./727008617414253/?type=3&theater

  12. paulie

    Even within a libertarian framework, I’d rather the government spend its ill-gotten money on those things (even regarding them as not being positives, even for the recipients), than on killing people and blowing things up and provoking more blowback and an endless cycle of perpetual war. And Paulie’s right, it’s less an organization than a meme. And even if it is a left-wing group that we’d disagree with on that stuff- since when has that stopped us from working together on areas of agreement for a good cause? (Not that they are ‘working with’ anybody from FNB so far as I know, LPDane did this on their own initiative)

    The way I take it is exactly like the famous Eisenhower quote, laying out the various things (miles of roads, new schools, etc.) that one of each various expensive military item is equal to. The point is purely about the resources lost and destroyed on militarism, not public v. private provision of those goods and services cited as examples. If the government didn’t spend that dollar on war, maybe it would go back to the taxpayer who could use it to feed the hungry, or maybe less preferably it would be wasted on an inefficient and less effective government bureaucracy. That’s another argument for another day.

    Exactly!

  13. paulie

    I wish I could be out in Madison tomorrow for this. Phil & Stephen and the others in LPDane have been seriously doing great getting the party up and running and thriving again in their area. They’ve had a weekly booth at the state capitol farmer’s market every Saturday all summer, plus regular meetings and social hours.

    Glad to hear about the activity in Madison.

    In related news:

    null

    https://www.facebook.com/events/682132691917511/

    The Libertarian Party of Alabama will be hosting the dinner meal at the Firehouse Shelter on Saturday, August 29, 2015 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. We plan on preparing the dinner meal and will cook food for 75-125 people. We will be covering the cost of food and hope to raise $500 for this charity event.

    Firehouse Shelter
    1501 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, Alabama 35203

    https://secure.piryx.com/donate/c8EdVwp9/Libertarian-Party-of-Alabama/firehouseshelter

  14. Jill Pyeatt

    Excellent! I’m still hoping to get my group involved in doing something of this nature.

  15. paulie

    Phil is also currently exploring a run for U.S. Senate.

    Good luck! I’d certainly help with that if I had more disposable income. I’ll help in other ways if and when I can.

    I wish I’d accomplished half as much in Milwaukee since I took that over in January.

    You do an amazing amount on the national and state levels, plus the Congressional run. I wish we had a lot more like you.

  16. Stephen Nass

    Stephen from the event here. I certainly see Food Not Bombs as being compatible with libertarianism. I also have no problems with partnering with other groups in the future (even the local socialist group) to let them participate in common ground events like this. If we move in a direction of a better society and more freedom, then we’re winning.

    Regarding the vegetarianism/veganism of Food Not Bombs: That may be the ideals of some of the participants and groups, but mostly it is a safety concern. Meat, especially ground meat, has a higher risk of disease and spoilage. With potentially poor sources it is usually avoided (but not banned) by FNB groups. I took exception with the salami as it is a cured meat, the packages are shelf stable without refrigeration, and I personally saw it removed from the freezer where it had been stored.

  17. Stephen Nass

    P.S. To any of you in the Madison area. As long as we can keep participation up we’ve got a bunch more fun events like this in the works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *