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Food Not Bombs Celebration & Free Live Music

Sunday, March 13, 2022
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Event Type:
Party/Street Party
Keith McHenry
Location Details:
Santa Cruz Town Clock
at Pacific Avenue & Water Street, Santa Cruz, CA

We couldn't have done it without you!


Noon to 4:00 PM
At the Town Clock; where it all began.
Pacific Avenue and Water Street, Santa Cruz, CA
Bring your beach chair, if you want a good seat.
Free Event / Donations are Appreciated.

Food Not Bombs thanks the people of Santa Cruz for two years of support during the pandemic. We could not have done it without you!

On March 14, 2020, we learned that all the indoor food programs would be closed because of the COVID-19 crisis so we stepped in to take their place and started to share our meals seven days a week, thinking we would return to our weekend schedule as soon as the pandemic was over, in a month or two. Two years on, those programs are still not able to provide the hot meals they had before the lockdowns.

Thankfully, our community stepped up. Hundreds of local people have helped bring donations of food, clothing and survival gear to help us meet the needs of those who live outside or are struggling to maintain housing. Others have chipped in $5, $10 and $20 dollar donations to help us buy pup tents, car batteries and repair to support our effort to save people’s vehicular homes from being seized by the city.

Our unhoused friends help us set up and break down every day. College students from Cabrillo and UCSC join our team to help serve our seven to ten course meal. Local herbalists have provided tea. Area farmers truck in fresh harvests. Second Harvest, Trader Joes, Gayle's Bakery, Beckmann’s, Grey Bears and local farmer’s markets are among those who provided our food. Advanced Auto interrupted their schedule to fix our van so we wouldn’t miss providing that day’s meal. The Tabby Cat Cafe ground our donations of coffee beans. The staff at Big Five Sporting Goods seeks ways to give us discounts for tents so we could afford as many as possible. Stolts Signs helped us replace the signs and banners taken from us by members of Take Back Santa Cruz. The workers at Santa Cruz Restaurant Supply make sure we have the equipment we require to keep our kitchen humming. Bernie and the kind office staff at Azzie's Storage jumped into action to move our shipping containers every time we were evicted.

The security guards at New Leaf and their staff lifted our five-gallon water bottles into shopping carts and dozens of people passing through the New Leaf parking lot have helped us load those heavy jugs into our vehicles. Others were happy to be stopped on the street to help lift urns of coffee into our van at the Little Red Church.

India Joze contributed their kitchen, their refrigeration and thousands of hours of labor to help make sure a healthy meal was served every day. Tom at University Copy donated reams of printing. The staff at World Centric has gone out of their way to supply us with cases of compostable paper products. Our good friend, Eric Fawcett, a local retired master plumber constructs our DIY hand washing stations and repairs the faucets at our kitchen. The staff at the Homeless Garden Project made vegan burritos and sandwiches. Barrios Unidos helped store dozens of pallets of dry goods before we purchased our second Conex box. Musicians perform at our meals. The drivers at Meals on Wheels drop off their extra food. Encompass social workers help us calm the emotionally distressed. Our friends at the Court Community Service Program send us waves of volunteers. Church people deliver cases of socks. A small army of supporters share our messages on line.

We even get clandestine help from city and county workers. The number of ways the people of Santa Cruz have helped us provide the most reliable source of support for communities poor and unhoused cannot be detailed in one short article. You can thank them for saving downtown Santa Cruz from suffering the damage that would result if people had no other way to get food became so desperate that they had to resort to extra-legal means to eat.

We have a dedicated core of volunteers who know what is required to provide healthy hot meals, groceries, drinking water and survival gear to hundreds of people every day.

We haven’t been sitting at computers collecting $100k+ salaries like those at city hall and the county buildings who spend their time evicting us from one location after another in their campaign to attract hedge-fund property speculators to ravage our community.

We have been volunteering for free on the streets of Santa Cruz everyday of this pandemic responding to the hunger and emotional stress of those living outside.

While the city is busy facilitating the wishes of global hedge funds and out of county property speculators we have been preparing for the unfolding crisis of evictions and the dramatic increase in hunger. We raised money to buy three shipping containers to stockpile dry goods and equipment. We have invested in reliable sources of fresh water. Our group has organized systems to maintain a daily response to the escalating disaster working in teams.

One team coordinates the preparation and cooking of 150 to 200 hot meals a day. Another team recovers our scraps to compost at the Homeless Garden.

We have two shifts of drivers to bring the hot water for our hand-washing station, sanitizing buckets to clean our tables, serving equipment and the first round of coffee. They open one of our shipping containers and set up the canopies, tables, social distancing cones, signs and banners.

Yesterday’s bread and the survival gear that was not distributed the day before is brought to the sanitized tables along with our pre-meal snacks, creamer, sugar and paper products.

A team of servers complete the setup and the madness of four hours of food service and compassion begins.

The driver returns to the kitchen to collect six to eight five-gallon hotel trays of that day’s hot meal, another five gallons of tossed salad and fruit salad.

Another team orders two or three pallets of food from Second Harvest and recovers food from the farmers markets, local grocery stores and bakeries. Then much of this food is taken to one of our three shipping containers and our kitchen. At least one pallet is taken to the people at the Benchlands along with our five gallons of drinking water and another load is distributed to undocumented families.

Yet another team orders the paper products, cooking oil and coffee, receives the deliveries and packs them into our rented storage units, kitchen or Conex boxes.

Finally, the closing team sanitizes the tables, packs the empty hotel trays and coffee urns into the van. The tables, canopies, signs, banners, unused paper products, left over bread and survival gear are packed into the shipping container or as of late into our rented U-Haul trailer. That team also picks up all the trash left around the area during the day, sweeps up the site and scrubs the food stains off the pavement. That team bags all the garbage and takes it to the dumpster we rent at the Little Red Church. Then they return to the kitchen to wash and sanitize our serving equipment and hotel trays, ending the day by giving the kitchen a thorough cleaning.

Besides serving food, volunteers at the food distribution site also unload and distribute donated items, such as clothing and misc. household items.

There is also a website to monitor, emails to reply to and phone calls that are answered daily.

This all repeats again day in and day out for nearly 730 days now.

Accept our thanks to the people of Santa Cruz for making all this possible!

Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs
PO Box 422
Santa Cruz, CA 95061 USA
menu [at]
Added to the calendar on Thu, Feb 17, 2022 11:06AM
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$190.00 donated
in the past month

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