We served 6,000 free meals this fall, at an event 18-months in the making. What began with a sign-up sheet taped to an unassuming table at a food-justice event sprouted into a coalition -- from Great Britain to Colorado to Laramie County, Wyoming -- of nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies and passionate citizens circling the wagons round a completely solvable issue: food waste.
The day's delicious and free vegetable curry was made using food that otherwise would've gone to compost or to landfill. Pallets were donated while some food was gleaned.
One of the volunteers at the event shared the words of one of the many people who came to enjoy a free bite to eat:
A lovely woman named Anita shared some life philosophy that pierced my heart at Feeding the 5000. As we stood together conversing at the Future Pointe booth, she looked out into the crowd and inquired, 'You know why this event is important?" She leaned one arm on the table, closed one eye like a pirate focusing, coughed, and then raised her other hand above the crowd of people eating together in front of us. "Because never, in my ten years on the streets in Denver, have I seen poor people, rich people, gay people, black and white people, all people eating and conversing together at the same table."
Tristram Stuart, the founder of Feedback, put it this way: "I often contemplate the meaning of the word companion. It literally means some one you eat bread with (com=with, pan=bread). Sharing food together is one of the most powerful ways humans have of becoming companions."