Support Autonomous Food Distribution in Atlanta

People are hungry in our city

Food stamps have been drastically cut in Georgia this year.  Trump is hoping to cut even further, leaving more people in a position of choosing between paying rent and buying groceries.

Traditional religious and NGO charities are finding themselves overwhelmed by growing poverty, unable to keep pace as the government abandons social welfare programs.

We need a new model for fighting hunger

One that doesn’t depend on unreliable government grants or foundation money. One that can’t be eliminated by Trump or any other politician signing a bill.  We need survival programs: networks of ordinary people organized to collect and distribute food. The powerful may abandon us, but we can help each other.

We are helping to build this network in Atlanta!  A loosely organized collection of farmers, restaurant and grocery workers, neighbors, activists, volunteers and organizations like Food Not Bombs and the South Bend Commons are cooperating to distribute approximately 1.5 tons of food to hungry people throughout Atlanta every week.

This food makes a major difference to the people who get it. For many, it’s the main reason they have fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets at all.  But it’s not nearly enough compared to the need.

As long as there are hungry people, our network is not big enough.

You can help it grow! The network is mainly limited by labor capacity.  The more volunteers we have, the more food we can distribute.  Contact the Teardown or Atlanta Food Not Bombs to volunteer.  Here are a few ways we need help:

  • Arrange to donate excess food from your store, restaurant, farm, or anywhere else.
  • Volunteer to pick up weekly donations and transport them to distribution points
  • Donate food infrastructure equipment like a walk-in fridge or box truck.  Or raise funds to help us purchase them.

There’s already enough for everyone, it’s just waiting to be shared

Know Your Rights and How to Copwatch trainings

Saturday May 26: Back-to-back trainings to set you up to do Copwatch in your community. Know your rights 2pm, How to Copwatch 4:15. A break in between. Refreshments provided!

Know Your Rights
Do you know when police are allowed to search you?
Do you know if you have to answer an officer’s questions?
Do you know when police are allowed to enter your home?
When we don’t know our rights, police can illegally harass and arrest us and get away with it. When we’re educated about our rights, we can protect ourselves and each other against police abuse.
Come to a free “Know Your Rights” workshop to learn the basics of asserting your rights when dealing with the police.
Topics covered include interacting with police during stops, in your car, in your house, and if you are arrested. We will discuss what you do and do not have to tell the police and what constitutes consent to a search.

How To Copwatch
This workshop covers good practices for “copwatching”, or video recording the police. Copwatching can provide important evidence of police misconduct, and sometimes even stop cops from abusing people in the first place. It’s important, but can be risky without preparation. This training prepares you to record the cops in a safe, legal, and effective way. Learn how to work in a small team to monitor police activity during large protests or everyday encounters in the neighborhood.

Questions? Call or text 404-939-7699


Festival of Resistance

Sunday, May 6

Come celebrate spring, eat good food, and hang out at a peoples’ festival.

Food Not Bombs believes that public space should be for everyone, and that we should use the commons to help each other, relate to each other, and create the world we want to live in.

Let’s turn Woodruff Park into a space for creative resistance, diversity, and fun!

Event Info

Discussion on Net Neutrality & Network Autonomy

Net Neutrality is dead. We know that this is bad, but how does it actually affect radical struggle? We know that we should resist it, but beyond calling congress what can we actually do?

Join us for a discussion on network autonomy. We will present work being done in Atlanta on off-grid wireless communication, mesh networks, and discuss possibilities for what community control over our communications infrastructure could look like.

Come with ideas, questions, and curiosity – no background in technology is required.

Let’s figure out how we can make truly free networks, and get to work creating them!

Event Info

Update on Food Not Bombs Repression

Early this morning, we came to court ready to face criminal charges for feeding the homeless without a permit. Many people came out and we shared food, clothes, and hygiene supplies right in front of the courthouse.

City representatives refused to show up. They were too ashamed to even face us in their own court. The bogus charge was dismissed without so much as a hearing. This confirms that the crackdown was never about the law, it has always been nothing more than a campaign of intimidation designed to bully homeless people and those who aid them. Already, officials are researching other ordinances they can use to repress us.

We are outraged that the City is trying to avoid this issue. Officials must answer for persecuting us, but they know they can’t. They can hide from a court case, but they can’t hide from the poor people who face constant harassment by their cops. They can’t hide from the homeless people who they evicted from the Peachtree & Pine shelter. The City wants to pretend they are the solution to poverty and homelessness in Atlanta, but they are the cause.

The real solution is ordinary people working together to help each other, and fighting against the gentrification agenda of the city elites. We will continue doing our part, and we call on everyone to join in however they can.

Atlanta Resists the Food Sharing Ban

Cops in Atlanta claim it’s illegal for us to share food with each other. Earlier this month, a volunteer with Food Not Bombs was charged with a crime for giving food to homeless people without a permit. We do not care what the law or the police say, so we vowed to continue disobeying them. On Sunday we followed through.

Hundreds of people from many backgrounds flooded Hurt Park in downtown Atlanta. Anarchist youth, church groups, homeless veterans, liberals, travelers, BLM activists, people of all ages and genders showed up to participate in the illicit practice of public sharing.

We came prepared to face repression, with copwatch teams on-hand and plans in place for dealing with physical interference by the cops. But bullies are also cowards, so we knew that when faced with huge, vibrant, disobedient crowds, the cops would most likely be too scared to even approach. We were right! The police ceded control of the park, allowing an autonomous festival to occupy the space instead.

People ate home-cooked chili and talked to a group of police abolitionists giving out literature. Someone performed impressive tricks spinning a black flag. A folk musician belted out old labor songs. Homeless musicians played drums, sang, and offered passionate spoken word about unity and revolution.

As the day went on, food, clothes, and other resources continued to arrive in the park, all brought by people we had never met, but who shared our outrage that the city would try to suppress such a basic human activity. Homeless people helped to distribute and manage the resources. The lines between giver and receiver blurred, and for a time we got to enjoy simply being people in the park together.

The cops, developers and politicians dream of a completely sanitized downtown where public space only exists for people to move through on their way to work, school, or to patronize a business. They want downtown to be fun and friendly for tourists and young professionals while simultaneously being hostile and uninhabitable for the rest of us. The homeless, black people, queer youth, and many other marginalized people do not fit into this agenda. The City will try anything to rid itself of these “undesirables”, enlisting the support of police, university officials, the Chamber of Commerce, even the very “non-profit service providers” which claim to serve the homeless.

In illegalizing sharing food, the authorities have made one thing clear: Only outlaws can stand against their agenda. In opposing the authorities, we have discovered that our society is full of outlaws just waiting for their moment to do the right thing. We also have seen that without the authorities, we have the power to care for each other and create something better.

There’s no reason to think this fight is over.  The police are probably waiting for an opportunity to strike again. We have to make sure that when they do, Atlanta is ready to make them regret it!

Thanks to John Ramspott for the photos.  To support Food Not Bombs and other grassroots solidarity efforts in Atlanta, donate here.

Donate to Atlanta Food Not Bombs and other grassroots groups!

Atlanta Food Not Bombs and aligned community groups are working to support poor and homeless people with food, clothes, shelter, and wellness.

The city government wants to shut down our efforts. They claim that they alone will solve the homeless crisis in our city, but we know that community groups are the ones doing the real work.

Please donate to support our ongoing work to stand up against police harassment, and to get needed resources to the poorest in our city!

We are all volunteers, every dollar contributed will go directly towards grassroots efforts to help those in need.

Click here to donate

We Do Not Need Permission to Feed Hungry People

Atlanta Food Not Bombs has been sharing free food with anyone who is hungry for over a decade.  We believe that food is a human right, and that no authority should be able to prevent anyone from eating.
Georgia State University Police has begun a campaign of harassment aimed at anyone who tries to share food with people in Hurt Park downtown.  They claim that giving away food is illegal without a food service establishment license from the City.  The cops’ legal claims are confusing, contradictory, and ultimately false.  What it comes down to is that they don’t want homeless people in the park, they want them to go somewhere else.
But when they’re forced out of the park, the homeless won’t be going into a shelter, since the City finally won their years-long fight to shut down Atlanta’s largest shelter.  And they certainly won’t be going into housing, in a city where gentrification and speculation has created what many are calling an affordable housing crisis.  Developers, university administrators, and city planners do not care that there’s nowhere for poor people to go.  As far as they are concerned, the homeless are a nuisance to be dealt with the same as rats and pigeons.
The cops have already charged one of our volunteers with this supposed crime, but we will not stop.  If the government makes sharing illegal, then we have no choice but to be criminals.  Not just because our conscience requires it, but because helping each other is the only way we will all survive.
We call on everyone who opposes this repression to stand against it directly: Come to Hurt Park next Sunday and occupy it with us.  Bring anything you want to share: food, resources, services.  Bring music, fun, and festivity.  Let’s show that a park full of people caring for each other is better than a park sanitized by police. 
Sunday Nov. 26th – 2pm
Hurt Park, Atlanta GA
We also invite anyone who’s interested in supporting Food Not Bombs to come to our planning meeting, Saturday Nov. 25th, 7pm at 80 Mayson Ave NE.