Richmond Food Not Bombs Checklists/ Ideas about what the heck is going on

If you are thinking about coming to Richmond Food Not Bombs it would be awesome if you would take a minute to look at these lists and familiarize yourself with the basic process.

If you don’t have the time to read this before you come, that is ok, because we have copies posted at the Wingnut and copies you can take home!

Having these lists helps us to all be on the same page, without having to consult one person or group of people as being in charge. Because no one is in charge!


-Gather all of the food from various basements/ rooms/ cars/ etc.

-Bring up 2 or 3 tables from the basement and set them up in big room

-Bring up colanders, cutting boards, and knives from the basement

-Assess what you have and what you need in terms of food- dig through boxes, check the pantry etc.

-Come to a consensus about what dishes will be prepared from the food you have

– Keep in mind how long things will need to cook and issues like limited stove top and oven space

-Write the menu on the white board in the room, so everyone can remember what we have planned

-Depending on how crowded etc. it is, get folks to bottomline particular dishes, to make sure for instance, everything that needs to be done for a stirfry is done- from washing the vegetable to thawing tofu to cooking it

-Figure out what, if anything you need from the store- i.e. ice, plates, garlic, sugar, rice etc. (Ideally this happens before a Sunday, but we aren’t perfect)

-Get money or the FNB Card, and have someone go to the store

-Remember to wash produce before cutting it!!!

-If there is produce that you wouldn’t eat, don’t serve it! Use your judgment and don’t be afraid to ask if you aren’t sure.

-Generally speaking, you want to cut produce so it is ‘bite’ size.

-Cut up produce as needed for dishes- usually you have to figure out an order to do this in, based on what needs cooking- for instance typically the vegetables for the entree will be cut first, things like a salad, fruit salad, and bread can be prepared later in the day.
Except lately, we have had the problem of finishing the hot food too quickly, so we have started doing the fruit salad and salad first so the hot food is still hot when we get to the park. Just an issue to keep in mind.

-(Most weeks) Cook rice in rice maker
-Get clean totes to put finished products in

-Put all the food scraps into boxes for composting Ideas for food

-We usually have some variation of the following. Don’t be afraid to be creative, just keep in mind making something that 150 people will want to eat:
White Rice
Vegetable Stir Fry with Tofu, or other hot vegetable entree
Mashed Potatoes
Pasta with veggies (usually happens when we are short on food)
Fruit Salad
Salad Salad
Apple Crisp
Corn on the cob
Banana Bread or Pudding
Green Bean Casserole
Sliced Bread
Sweets box (cake or muffins etc.)
Gaspacho, Chili, or other soup

Keep in mind that we try to keep our food accessible to as many people as possible. So this can mean making sure we don’t make it too spicy, leave apples out of fruit salad cause folks without teeth have a hard time with apples, avoid using nuts in food (allergies) etc. Bring to Park

3 water coolers- sometimes they will all have water, sometimes there will be citrus drink or coffee in one or 2 of them
3 long folding tables for serving the food and drinks
1 small card table for literature
Basket with serving utensils- tongs, big spoons, ladles
Paper plates
Plastic Forks
Plastic spoons
salt and pepper
hot sauce
milk/sugar if we have coffee
all the food you made- so a bunch of totes, buckets, RICE etc.
literature for literature table
food not bombs flags
Menu sign, and chalk
all of the give away food

At the Park, (corner of Main and Belvidere) we set up three tables for food and drinks. In front of the first table we put the Menu Sign with the day’s menu on it. The first table generally has the plates, Rice/Pasta, hot main meal dishes like mashed potatoes/green bean casserole etc.The second table tends to have the fruit salad, salad, bread, and any dessert item. The last table has the drinks, cups, forks, condiments, and condoms.

We need people to help serve each of the dishes. Since there are usually 2-3 dishes per table it makes sense to have 2-3 people at each table. If you are new, you might be more comfortable if you have a buddy with more experience at the same table as you. Folks in the park line up at the menu sign, and go to the tables in order. Ask folks if they want whatever it is you are serving. You have to be a little conscious of how much of your dish you have versus how many people want to eat, but generally speaking we try to be generous. And once the line has gone through people are welcome to come back for seconds.

Grocery give away can be a stressful part of Food Not Bombs. Unfortunately we live in a world where folks do not have equal access to food. So often people stress out over it, and have a tendency to get pushy during the grocery give away. We do the grocery give away after it looks like most people have finished their meal. Then we get a bunch of volunteers to distribute the food. We used to just put the boxes on the ground, but now we are trying handing the food out from the back of the truck. That seemed like it worked pretty well. Feel free to ask other Food Not Bombsers about this so you know what to expect.

After we serve the meal in the park, it is REALLY IMPORTANT that folks come back to the Wingnut to help clean up! Clean Up

-Make sure tables are wiped down

-Return all 4 tables to the basement

-Wash all cutting boards,  knives, colanders, serving utensils, pots, pans, woks, etc. used in the food preparation and serving process.

-Dry all cutting boards, knives, colanders, serving utensils, pots, pans, woks etc. and return to the basement

-Empty the totes, compost or give away the food

-Wash out the totes

-Wash out the water coolers and return to basement

-Put rice maker back in basement

-Wipe down kitchen counters

-Wipe down stove

-Flatten all cardboard boxes

-Take cardboard to a recycling dumpster (firepit in backyard)

-Consolidate all compost

-Take compost to compost pile in backyard of Wingnut

-Return literature, condoms, plastic silverware, plates, etc. to the basement, neatly.

-Clear everything out of the living rooms

-Sweep all the floors

-Mop all the floors

-Take out the trash

-Double check that everything is spick and span please!

Tell your friends and family to come next week to help out!
Talk about who is doing the food pickups for the next week- make sure they are all cover

  1. Al says:

    Corn on the cob is also impossible for toothless people to eat.

    • anarchymo says:

      Yep but its one of the few easy things we can make with corn- we had 4 boxes of it yesterday. We try and make sure the food is something that most people can eat, unfortunately corn is an exception.