I'm a computer consultant who was horrified in 1989 when I arrived in town and read about police enforcing the ″camping ban″ by issuing citations to those sleeping on the streets on cold winter nights and then confiscating their blankets and bedding. I began volunteering with Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs in 1993, performing food preparation, cooking, cleaning, transporting, serving and organizing. My inspiration was fueled by the Food Not Bombs booklet, which explained the organizing values. These are Veganism (no animal products in the food – no harm to animals), Nonviolence, food recovery through donations from local markets and farms of produce that was otherwise destined to be discarded, and public servings, to remind the comfortable majority of the existence and needs of an impoverished minority of this community.
These public servings also highlight the apparent lack of local governments and charities to sufficiently meet those needs. Although my participation level varied over the years, I committed to regular weekly volunteer service in early 2015, steadily increasing my workload and expertise since then. I consistently advocate for adhering to industry-standard sanitation practices to insure that the food served is both nourishing and safe. From this work I've gained a more generous sense of connection and compassion for the physically, mentally, socially and spiritually (and financially) impaired members of our community.