September was a busy month for Food Not Bombs, we’ve noticed an increase in the amount of people we see. And as we try to increase how often we do work in the community and bring in more people to our project we’re kept pretty busy. One of our new volunteers, Ayliean, joined us at our last city centre stall and wanted to offer her perspective:

“Earlier this year, like many people around the world, I felt the need to take more direct action for the injustices I saw around me. However, my efforts so far had only resulted in standing around holding a sign and looking quite grumpy. I was feeling ever more burnt out with the “down with this sort of thing” type of campaigning and
really wanted to make a hands on difference in my community. That’s when I remembered that a month earlier I had seen a group standing in the street with a table and a flag saying “Food Not Bombs” – a sentiment its hard to disagree with. A cursory google search brought me to their Facebook page where I found out they held twice monthly events sharing food out to anyone who wanted it. I sent them a message asking if I could be of any help and got a series of welcoming replies from a guy called Barry, who I imagined to be a kindly old man. “The last Saturday of the month rolled around and it was time for me to take to the streets, this time armed with sandwiches instead of signs. I walked up to the dragon statue in Dundee where the table was set up and was met by Barry, who as it turns out was in fact a kindly young guy with the wisdom of an old guy who seemed pretty sound. “Wonderfully, I was not the only person who had seen the stall last month and had decided to drop by for another visit. There were hungry people from all walks of life who were glad to see the return of the Food Not Bombs stall – and no wonder, the soup was amazing! The sandwiches flew away amongst conversations ranging from political ideology, to the texture of hummus, to every day chit chat. It really was heartening to see a community being built and become part of it, plus I feel the need to stress again just how good the local allotment veg soup was! “After my belly was full I was standing around holding an empty soup cup hesitant to throw it away, when I was told that it was actually a Vegware cup. This showcases just how much thought Food Not Bombs have put into growing their Dundee group sustainably, in every sense of the word. The food is collected from places where it would otherwise go to waste; local shops, the community fridge, donations from allotments. The food then brings people together and offers social contact, community and sustenance to those who need it (everyone). Finally, the Vegware containers and leftover waste can be composted as the stall is folded away and disappears leaving no trace until the next month when it springs to life. “I am now preparing for my second stint with the group, the second Friday night of the month food trolley. As I look out my torch and thermals for wandering around Dundee on what will definitely be a cold night, it is bittersweet to enjoy doing something but know that there is so much more that needs to be done for people who society has forgotten about and left out in the cold, hungry. So, I would encourage anyone who has time or food to spare to get involved with the group, they’re friendly and fun and very good at cooking soup.”

It’s been great to see how our efforts have been positively received from not only the community we’re reconnecting here in Dundee but also activists who want to find a home with what we’re trying to achieve.
Food Not Bombs Dundee can be found on the second Friday of every month from 6:30pm distributing food and hot drinks around the city centre of Dundee. Also on the last Saturday of the month from 12pm serving up hot food and drinks in the heart of the city.