Group 'scavenges' to feed, clothe neighborhood in Leyte

ADO, 28, is still jobless, but he goes around the public market along with his friends to ask and collect surplus food -- mostly vegetables -- and clothing, which they would give to poor residents around Leyte.

Ado, not his real name, said their group, dubbed as "Food Not Bombs-Leyte Chapter," is also organizing fundraising concerts to support their various tree planting, feeding, and coastal clean-up drive around the province.

Last August 24, 2019, Sado and his fellow group members picked Barangay Atabay in the coastal town of Hilongos, Leyte, as their recipient village.

At least 25 volunteers showed up and fed over 50 people, mostly children.

The beneficiaries also received used clothing and toys.

"We are very thankful to the market vendors in Maasin City and Hilongos. They donated vegetables which we cooked for the children," Ado told SunStar Philippines.

Ado said they do the activity at least once a month.

"We use the term 'scav' as we collect or look for surplus food in the public market. We also rely on the kindness and generosity of the vendors. We preferred that people would donate us food or goods and clothing instead of money," said the young volunteer who finished two years in Information and Communication Technology.

"We are apolitical. We have no leader or leaders, no formal registrations, no membership fees, no executive committees... no borders in terms of sub-cultures, race, age, and religion. Also, no politicians' tricks and no close doors," the group said.

According to Ado, they are promoting vegetarian and their food is free to everyone.

Food Not Bombs, which started as anti-nuclear activist group in the United States of America during the 1980s, is now a global movement with its hundreds of chapters, each doing "independent and autonomous decisions using the consensus process."

"Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer global movement that shares free vegan meals as a protest to war and poverty. Each chapter collects surplus food that would otherwise go to waste from grocery stores, bakeries and markets... as well as donations from local farmers, then prepares community meals which are served for free to anyone who is hungry," said Ado.

He added that the central beliefs of the global movement are: "Food Not Bombs is dedicated to nonviolence and sees 'food as a right not a privilege.' Food Not Bombs works to call attention to poverty and homelessness in society by sharing food in public, physically accessible places and facilitating community gatherings of hungry people. Anyone who wants to cook may cook, and anyone who wants to eat may eat. Food Not Bombs strives to include everyone."

"We also preferred to be anonymous," Ado added. (SunStar Philippines)


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