On February 4th 2010 Keith McHenry, the co-founder of Food Not Bombs gave a talk in London, to about 20 people.

The story he told was like a run-down of all the most dramatic events in the last 30 years - ranging from aid efforts at Hurricane Katrina, to feeding the firemen at 9/11, to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, to the Zapatista uprising in Mexico.

He had been at all of them. Moreover, because Food Not Bombs has a history of supplying protests with food, and because bizarre laws in America make it legal to give out free food if it is a company promotion, but illegal if it is just out of the kindness of your heart, his organisation has been monitored by the FBI for years.

Given that, it was surprising there were only about 20 people in the room, and the mainstream media didn't mention his presence.

I'd never heard of Keith McHenry, and only had a passing awareness of Food Not Bombs from my friends in Manchester. Now I found out that there were hundreds of "chapters" all round the world, and they had been central in feeding the poor in places from Spain to famine-torn regions of India.

The previous year I'd picked up a book called "Waste" by Tristram Stuart. It made my stomach churn. It showed a direct link between the rising prices of grain which had pushed hundreds of millions worldwide into starvation and the wasteful attitude to food in the West. It estimated that around 10% of our carbon emissions in the UK come from just the food we throw away - global warming in turn exaserbating the divide between rich and poor.

Suddenly everyone I knew seemed implicated in a crime on as gigantic a scale as the slave trade (it hadn't helped that I'd read "No Logo" by Naomi Klein at a similar time).

I began to grapple with how I could change anything. First I tried asking Morrison's why they hadn't signed up to FareShare. I emailed the Council about how they could promote FareShare, and phoned FareShare themselves to ask how best to get people to sign up to them. Being bombarded with propaganda by Morrisons, told by the Council they only dealt with public waste, not businesses, and by FareShare that they only dealt with waste higher up the supply chain, I lost heart.

Then I met Keith McHenry. It was then that the means of approaching this problem at a local level dawned on me - here was a localised, albeit more political, FareShare. The very next day, I hopped on a bus, and ran around the area looking for food donors, and tried to locate all the hostels and day centres in the area.

It's been a bumpy ride since then, but through a lot of perseverence and hard work we got up and running, and we now have numerous suppliers and provide weekly deliveries to St Mungo's hostel.

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