Lake Eola Park Orlando: FOOD NOT BOMBS is a group dedicated to bringing wholesome food to the homeless. We have plenty of them. They are out on the streets and living in our parks. On the fringes of generosity and their own sanity, fathers and mothers are staying close to public parks because they are safer than back alley's in deserted parts of town... the parks are a cleaner life that they might hold on to. They panhandle or they scavenge or they hit the shelters not closed because of budgetary cuts by the heartless corporate hack Republican agenda sweeping through the state. But the homeless numbers are building in Florida, the only growth pattern Gov. Rick Scott's office seems bent on sustaining. The Poor pay taxes, everyday. They spend whatever comes into their hands, each day to survive and in this continuing disaster capitalism agenda of corporate plutocracy their expenditures are significant to the barely maintainable economic stability in the state.
[In defiance of a public ordinance that bans 'large group feedings,' defined as gatherings that attract and feed more then 25 people, volunteers with "Foods Not Bombs" are being arrested in Orlando, and there are appears to be no compromise in sight which will satisfy both city officials and event organizers.
The group's name and mantra "Food Not Bombs" may sound innocent enough, but not to city of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who has referred to the volunteers as 'food terrorists.' Dyer said organizers knowingly violate the law by providing free vegan and vegetarian meals to the hungry, within the city limits of Orlando. The organization operates in 1,000 cities, in over 60 countries feeding starving people."Food Not Bombs' was started by eight friends in the Boston, Massachusetts, area in 1980 to protest the Seabrooke Nuclear station in nearby New Hampshire. Through a massive food gathering network that arranges food collection from grocery stores, bakeries, and markets, the mission of the organization is "to motivate the public to focus their resources on solving problems like hunger, homelessness and poverty while seeking an end to war and the destruction of the environment." The group hopes that their example of how individuals can work together to provide essential needs like food, without the support of state, city and county officials, will motivate others to join in the grass-roots effort to affect change in the lives of those who need help with basic necessities, including housing, eduction, and heath-care.
The twice-weekly group-feedings in Lake Eola Park attract a variety of hungry people to the free meal, and this same element is what city officials are attempting to move out of public sight. Official's told the Sun Sentinel that events that encourage gathering of "undesirable types to public parks, encourages littering and repels free-spending tourists from downtown — and downtown businesses." The city has offered an alternative solution that is considered unacceptable by the leaders of "Food Not Bombs." They have suggested the group move to a location set up by the city for feeding the homeless.