Kitchen Crews Fueling the Movement

Fueling the Movement

Feeding people during mobilizations, particularly for activities lasting more than a few hours, is one of the most basic infrastructural needs to be encountered by social movements. All over the world, the practice of preparing and sharing food plays an important role in displaying hospitality, sharing culture and cultivating relationships. It is not surprising, then, that the organizations and networks that provide food for social movements share a rich legacy and history.

Photo Credit: Occupy Eugene
Michael Maher Photography
FoodNotBombs.net
Common Ground Collective

Kitchen Crews Emerging Organically

While Seeds of Peace and Food Not Bombs have played an incredibly valuable role in supporting movements and uprisings, movements and communities often organically develop the capacity to provide food as movements emerge. In Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the murder of Mike Brown, Cathy “Mama Cat” Daniels, a retired grandmother went looking to find a way to help out. “I asked, ‘what can I do?’” she told the Huffington Post. “They said a little home-cooked meal wouldn’t hurt nothing, so I went home, and the next day I came back with spaghetti and salad and garlic bread. After that, every day I fed them. Every day.”[11] Daniels would continue serving food through the weeks of protests and the non-indictment. Later on, volunteers from Seeds of Peace would travel into Ferguson to support Daniels, particularly during the Ferguson October mobilization and the resurgence of activity following the announcement of the non-incitement.

Photo Credit: Brian Yazzie

Stepping Up Stepping In

The participatory aspect of preparing and serving food at mobilizations has acted as a useful tool for absorbing new activists and providing opportunities for people to meaningfully participate in creating the mobilizations they are participating in. Kim Ellis, an organizer with the RAMPS Campaign said, “it’s just easy to plug into this work. It’s a way for people without a lot of experience to get involved… When you are doing something concrete you know you can be useful.”[13]

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