How to Nourish a Revolution

September 29, 2011

Every day the Occupy Wall Street movement grows and with it, the need to keep the troops fueled gets stronger.

I spoke with the kitchen coordinator, Amy Hamburger (really!), and this role sort of landed in her lap, as her original vision was more art-oriented. Amy, stepped in when a fellow volunteer from Food Not Bombs became overwhelmed by a lack of sleep and a sea of donated peanut butter jars.

Amy told me that they are getting more organized by the day. The food is coming from several avenues. First, the local food carts have been offering their leftovers at the end of the day, and they also cut deals with the occupiers for daily supplies. Every hour pizzas and other delivery food is arriving, but they really want to move toward more home-cooked meals.

Due to sanitation concerns, they are not preparing any meals on site. Various volunteers are taking the donated food to their homes and cooking it up. While I was there, someone brought a massive batch of winter squash risotto, which got happily gobbled up by the participants. Even though I had a thermos full of food, they kindly offered up some of the risotto. I passed since there were an awful lot of hungry occupiers to be fed.

A few local churches have offered storage space, but they can definitely use more assistance.

There are many way that you can help. If you are not in New York you can either donate directly from their website or send organic delivery.

If you are in the area, then you can offer your home or business for storage of the food. If you are a kitchen whiz and feel inspired to make some meals, then go to the kitchen area and speak with Amy or one of the other volunteers. They also need plates, cups, napkins, and general supplies. Extra transportation would be welcome, since so many in NY are without cars, and hauling large batches of food via the subway is no easy task.

There is a feeling of true community, and even without a central leadership, everything is flowing quite smoothly.