In 2006 Long Island Food Not Bombs was formed when a group of young dedicated volunteers began sharing vegetarian groceries with their neighbors in need. Long Island Food Not Bombs started with just a few garbage bags of bread and a single folding table. Since then, this youthful community grew into a network of thousands of volunteers who now collectively share millions of pounds of organic plant-based foods with tens-of-thousands of people each year.
After years of growth and expanding our mission, the community behind Long Island Food Not Bombs decided to change its name to Community Solidarity in 2011. We feel Community Solidarity is the next evolution of the Food Not Bombs philosophy. We love the principles of the international Food Not Bombs movement and we created Community Solidarity as a way of expanding those principles into areas beyond food. We welcome you to join us at one of our many weekly food shares listed below. Or if you'd like to learn more about the history of Long Island Food Not Bombs or the international Food Not Bombs movement please feel free to read on.
The roots of Community Solidarity have always been entwined with the Food Not Bombs movement. The philosophy of creating peace with food, of building consensus amongst the community, and upholding solidarity, not charity are the bedrocks of Community Solidarity. The name Food Not Bombs is literally a declaration for helping others and not wasting money on wars.
We believe in the philosophy of Food Not Bombs; that food is a right. We believe that communities can come together with consensus. We believe that we can't address the issues of hunger in our community without addressing its roots in violence, war, and social oppression. Our philosophy and ideals haven't changed, Long Island Food Not Bombs has just expanded its mission into its next evolution - Community Solidarity. In so doing, our community has become more than just hunger relief efforts.
We're a community of growing ideas. Ideas which haver changed the philosophy of how we share food with the hungry. We are no longer addressing the problem of hunger; our goal is to end the problem altogether. Perhaps naively, we believe that on Long Island we have a shot of doing just that.
We believe that the next steps of growing our community, our food shares, of growing the ideas of the Food Not Bombs movement, are in a new movement, Community Solidarity. In a way, whether we realized it or not when we started, we inadvertently created it for that purpose. Our growth, our ability to feed thousands each week, comes from our philosophy and we believe that it's time to represent ourselves more clearly in that manner.
We welcome you to explore this website to learn more about Community Solidarity, our mission, and our Food Shares. We welcome you to join us at these incredible events spread across Long Island and NYC.
We thank you for your support,
With love & solidarity,
Community Solidarity ( the collective formally known as Long Island Food Not Bombs )
The History of Long Island Food Not Bombs
The aim of Food Not Bombs is to fight the social, economic and environmental oppressions that are inflicted upon our community and our planet.
Mainly Long Island Food Not Bombs (now Community Solidarity) provides groceries, fresh produce and warm meals to low-income communities. All the food we distribute is completely vegetarian and mostly organic. We also collect clothing, books, toiletries and toys for redistribution as well. We have numerous guerrilla gardening programs that range from blanketing neighborhoods with sunflowers to providing families with peach trees.
Our goal, which is admittedly lofty, is to root out the roots of oppression in our community. Some of these roots include racism, sexism, war, environmental destruction, poverty, corporate greed, and government oppression. While these evils undoubtedly affect our collective lives each day they are not something we are powerless to stop.
Food Not Bombs is one of the largest, fastest growing and effective food distribution programs in the world. Currently there are hundreds if not thousands of chapters around the world. To find more about the greater Food Not Bombs movement check out foodnotbombs.net
Background, History of Long Island Food Not Bombs:
Long Island has had numerous Food Not Bombs chapters for nearly two decades. However by 2005 all active chapters had effectively ceased. It was also a weird period in which almost all forms of radical youth activism had stopped, or at least stopped in the public sphere.
In the Spring of 2006 a newly formed Long Island Food Not Bombs was created by Co-founders Alex Witcowski and Jon Stepanian. Together with nearly a half dozen awesome activists they started setting up tables of groceries for fellow community members in areas across Long Island. Over time Long Island Food Not Bombs changed its name to Community Solidarity and is now made up of thousands of volunteers who provide mutual aid to a community of tens of thousands.
Before changing its name to Community Solidarity, Long Island Food Not Bombs became the largest Food Not Bombs chapter in the world! By 2008, Long Island Food Not Bombs was sharing tens of thousands of pounds of organic produce with thousands of people each week! And each year after Long Island Food Not Bombs kept growing!
Food Not Bombs is about community empowerment. The idea was never giving out donations, we share food. We share food because it's not ours to give out. Food is a Right and not a Privilege, so as an organization, one of our roles is to stand in solidarity with local communities on Long Island and help protect our collective right to healthy food.
The Radical Super Market:
One of the things that are extraordinarily unique about Long Island Food Not Bombs (now Community Solidarity) is the shear scale of what we do. People that come to our Food Shares don't just get some food, we share a good portion of what a person needs for a whole week. That means on most days folks can leave with 3 or 4 large bags of fresh organic groceries, (breads, fruits, veggies, protein, juice etc.)
When you come to a Food Share community members also share other necessities like clothing, books, toys, seeds, tools, and literature. In essence our inevitable goal is to share everything someone might need for their week, their job, their family and their lives.
This massive assortment of free stuff also attracts crowds of Hundreds at a time and because of the volume of food, materials, and people we often run our Food Shares like Radical Super Markets.
It goes like this, over the area of a city block we have tables separated into sections with some individually specified for various items like bread, fruits and veggies, sweets, frozen foods, grocery items, clothing, community supported literature and hot vegan meals. If you come to a Food Share and only need clothing then you can just go to the clothing area, if you only want fruits you can go to that area, and so on.
We also try and have numerous cool folks throughout the crowd and at the tables who can help you find what you're looking for.
The Support of Local Businesses _ We Support Local Business
Food is a Right, and it's about time we as a society make it so. Community Solidarity helps share free food, a vast majority of which we get from local businesses; and we don't wish to leave these folks out in the wind.
We are able to do what we do in part because of a vast array of businesses who share food with us. And we at Community Solidarity ( formally Long Island Food Not Bombs ) wish to support these businesses as much as we can. We believe that if a business supports its community that it's only right for the community to support that business. As we say, when people spend money they'd prefer to do so at a place thats taken care of their neighbors.
We encourage all of our supporters to support the businesses that make what we do possible..... ya....
The Future, hopes of Health care, Housing and Schools... hey they're Essential Human Rights too.
It is our goal to branch Long Island Food Not Bombs into a conduit that helps folks find free/ affordable housing, healthcare and a force that encourages real community based education. These services are Human Rights and only by supporting these rights will we be creating a communities that can overcome poverty, hunger and social & political oppression. This goal was one of the main reasons we expanded our mission and changed our name to Community Solidarity.
You can't make your life better if you spend all your time looking for food, and the same is true if you spend all your time sick, without a home or without the tools of literature and mathematics.
Knowledge is power, real power to change our communities, countries and the world as a whole. In this sense, social services are some of the most important tools of change we can create.