Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beatlicks: Food Not Bombs

Date: Mar 28, 2009 10:34 AM

Well maybe I do have a few reports left in me as long as I'm doing something
interesting. Things have calmed down a lot after two weeks resting up in
Albuquerque and now we are house sitting in Placitas.

While in Albuquerque we ran upon the Food Not Bombs folks again. We encountered
them first in Bisbee where "Bob" was passing out food on Sunday afternoons at a
public park.It was an area where the hungry, homeless, and transient definitely
gather; we were included that day and loaded up on salad, beans and rice, and some
fresh fruit.The organization has been around since the 1980s.

The Albuquerque contingency of this group became a news item and wound up in
"Alibi", the local alternative paper, after running into trouble with the University of New Mexico police. Apparently they have been passing out food there on the campus in front of the bookstore twice a week. I synopsize from the article by Simon McCormack:

Food Not Bombs member Benjamin Abbot says the organization has been serving in
front of the bookstore for years without any trouble from the state. But apparently
in Feburary some helath department officials happened by and didn't like what they

I guess they don't get round the campus often since they were seeing the operation
apparently for the first time. The officials walked over to the food table that day
and asked if Abbot had a permit to distribute food on the campus. No he did not.

From then on the campus officials and the Environmental Health Division started
keeping track of Food Not Bombs and by the middle of March the organization was
slapped with seven charges of serving food without a permit by the EHD. Each charge
carries a fine of $5oo.

Food Not Bombs member Mike Butler says he has no intention of getting a permit to
be on campus. Carlos Romero, director of the EHD said he didn't want to stop the
group and wants them to apply for the permit.

Seems to me if they were genuinely interested in feeding the hungry there would be
a better place to set up than on the lush UNM campus. I just don't think there's
that many starving students on campus. But there are plenty of them in other
locations of Albuquerque. There might not be as many pretty girls however.

The situation can't be resolved until there is a hearing before a judge and so far
the EHD has failed to make request one.

Happy Trails
Beatlick Pamela

Pamela Hirst

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