Posted 10 years ago on July 29, 2011, 8:21 p.m. EST by chris
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
My name is Chris and I am a member of the Food Committee who, for the past month, has been feverishly trying to figure out how to feed 20,000 people. I am also a member of NYC's Food Not Bombs.
Here's the battleplan we've worked out so far:
At first we were going to make bulk rice and beans and other prepared foods. However, this presents unique logistical difficulties that we're not confident can be overcome within the short time that we have: namely getting kitchen space to do all this in. So, the solution hit upon after the first Food Committee meeting was to serve sandwiches instead. They're easy to make, easy to transport and produce little to no trash, versus a more complicated dish that would require paper plates and plastic utensils. Namely, we were thinking peanut butter sandwiches -- they're cheap, filling and can be made directly on site. This is IN ADDITION to the donations we're hoping will come when Sept. 17 comes around. We just want to have a backup food supply, as donations can be fickle things. Also, we need an alternative for people with nut allergies. Some people suggested hummus, but that is quite perishable and we don't want people to get food poisoning.
I did some calculations, though, and while peanut butter sandwiches would no doubt be cheaper than other options, having enough for the people we want to have on Sept. 17 is still going to need money. I was looking, very specifically, for the large, 45 pounds tubs. It looks like they range in price between $108 and $128. According to the Internet, 45 pounds is 1380 tablespoons. A typical peanut butter sandwich has 2 tablespoons, meaning that each drum will yield 690 sandwiches. While, on an ideal level, we'd have about 20 such drums, we're not sure if we'd be able to get the funds together for that and, furthermore, there's the chance we may not even NEED that much, if other donations come through. I imagine we could probably get by on half of that, meaning we'd need about $1000. Despite some outreach efforts, the total amount of money raised by the Food Committee so far equals $0. So, we need money. I am setting up a PayPal account to accept donations (probably right after this post) but would LOVE to get some larger donations from organizations.
At the same time, we'd also need bread. I am currently talking to freegan groups in NYC to try and get that, since bread is the most common thing you run into while dumpstering, though I have been told that the organized groups do not get that many people. So, I am trying to organize a group of about five or six experienced dumpster divers (I am not experienced and would need guidance) to go the night before and get as much bread as they can, as well as whatever else can be salvaged. But man does not live on sandwiches alone! As mentioned before, we want to ALSO have food donated similar to what went down in Wisconsin where people were sending pizzas and other delivery from local restaurants over to the event. While we have been working to try and get advance commitment from people and organizations to order food that day, much like the monetary donations, food donations have not been forthcoming. Further, we're going to look into asking grocery stores for donations of fruit and other ready-to-eat foods. If anyone has any contacts who can donate a few boxes of, say, apples and bananas, that would be great.
Finally, since we expect to have a store of supplies already built up by the time the 17th comes, we're going to need a place to store all of this. Residences, perhaps, or a more dedicated storage facility. We won't need a warehouse in terms of capacity, but I'd prefer not to have to store everything in my apartment due to my distance from Wall Street and, also, my apartment is about the size of a phone booth (remember those?).
Any assistance of any of these fronts would be much appreciated.