Food Justice is Providing Food to Anyone Who Asks

Food Not Bombs, Pawtucket, RI

Despite the surplus of food that exists in America, 11% of Rhode Island residents – 48,000 households – are food insecure, according to the 2019 Status Report on Hunger in Rhode Island. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the amount of people that need access to fresh food and resources. Food Not Bombs is a volunteer based collective dedicated to nonviolent social change. They recover food from local farmers and restaurants, to provide meals and groceries for the community. Their mission as an environmental group is “to remove food from the cycle of food waste, and redirect that food to people who need it, but primarily, focus on food justice by providing food to anybody who asks, without question, and without thresholds/standards that need to be met in order to receive food” (Food Not Bombs Providence). They have chapters in over 1000 US cities and hundreds more across the world. Their Providence chapter, started in 2015, has collaborated with George Wiley Center in Pawtucket, RI, to support families in need. 

Food Not Bombs Providence has done a number of food giveaways in the last month, handing out over 400 bags of fresh produce. They are currently on track to provide groceries to everyone on their grocery distribution list on a biweekly basis. With help from the New England Grassroots Fund they were also able to provide funds to purchase 40 $25 gift cards as part of their COVID-19 relief fund. 

They have also gotten donations of beets and more than 300 lbs of sweet potatoes from Freedom Food Farm, lettuce from Gotham Greens, butternut squash from Hope’s Harvest Farm, bread from The Shop, potatoes and carrots from Big Train Farm and support from other local groups. 

Local business owner and founder of Restoration Urban Farm of New England, Tarshire Battle, who has been volunteering at George Wiley Center said, “What was inspiring [was] to assist homeless people living in a tent city in Pawtucket, that I didn't know existed, helping a single mother, disabled and elderly individuals not only in Pawtucket but the outskirts of RI where there is limited funding.” She wants to encourage others to join this inspiring project. 

You can support them by donating food or volunteering. If you are in need of food assistance, or grocery delivery, email them at [email protected] or reach out to Food Not Bombs Providence on Facebook


Photos: George Wiley Center, Pawtucket, RI and Food Not Bombs Providence