by Board Member and Grant Advisor, Stephanie Klempner

keith_drawing_grand_canyon

Recently, I had the sincere pleasure of chatting with Keith McHenry, a founder of Food, Not Bombs, and Pollination Project grant winner. Via our partnership with World Peace Earth, The Pollination Project awarded a grant to fund his newest project, Food, Not Lawns. I was particularly interested in this project because I am outraged by the amount of food that people and companies/restaurants in our country (and the world) waste. And friends and I will often talk about great ideas to reduce this, but we never really try to move forward to implement the ideas.

Keith, on the other hand – DID! His organization, Food, Not Bombs collects food that can’t be sold and make organic, vegetarian meals that they share on the streets. WOW! The food is always free and available to anyone, no restrictions.

On a more personal note, Keith is one of the most interesting, fun, committed, passionate, and yet down-to-earth guys I have had a chance to get to talk to. From dressing up as a hobo at protests to getting arrested for giving away vegetarian food (and being considered a security threat for it), he sure makes life fun, while also making a huge impact.

Keith’s latest project, Food Not Lawns, is a free school located in Taos, New Mexico (relatively near Santa Fe). He is offering free 2-4 week classes to students who come spend time studying permaculture and organic gardening. When the students are done, they will return to their Food, Not Bombs community and share what they have learned and create gardens of their own.

Keith explained The Pollination Project’s grant will fund the irrigation system and pump house that they need to really effectively have this garden functioning so that they can educate students on permaculture and inspire them to go back to their communities and take over unused urban areas and plant seeds, build composts, and learn to grow organize, healthy foods.

This guy certainly thinks big and out of the box – he has projects like Homes, Not Jails, and the Really Really Free Market (people come together to give away things) in the works.

While the grant from The Pollination Project will get ensure Keith can build the irrigation system he needs to make the school thrive, there are still many immediate needs that he has. Some of these include:
– Additional equipment for irrigation tools.
– Pickup truck to transport wood and materials
– Sand for the soil
– More gardening tools – gloves, shovels, wheel barrels, non GMO seeds.

If you are interested in further supporting the amazing work of Keith and Food, Not Bombs (and Food, Not Lawns), visit their site at: www.foodnotbombs.net.