ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As cold temperatures and snowy conditions persist through the winter, local non-profit organizations have continued their efforts to provide those in need with food and essential items. Food Not Bombs of Albany, a local chapter of the all-volunteer global movement Food Not Bombs, has been providing hot meals to roughly 50 to 100 people each week throughout the year.

Each chapter adheres to three core principles: consensus decision-making, non-violent direct action, and free vegan and vegetarian food for all. All of the meals are prepared and cooked by Food Not Bombs members and are served at the Albany Social Justice Center at 33 Central Ave during the wintertime, and in Townsend Park during warmer months.

For those who cannot make it to the physical location, members organize fresh produce and meal delivery for a few families. The organization would like to expand food delivery on Mondays but deliveries are dependent on the number of volunteers.

Food Not Bombs Albany stayed active during the height of the pandemic. It held weekly meetings to update members on current best practices and to determine how to move forward cautiously while remaining faithful to its mission. Some safety practices have continued as volunteers are still required to wear masks while cooking meals.

Currently, the organization serves meals, free groceries, and basic living supplies every Monday
from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, click here.

Several members shared why they volunteer with Food Not Bombs Albany. Some members chose to remain anonymous.

“I joined because I like that Food Not Bombs isn’t about charity; it’s about creating a cultural shift in the way we care for ourselves, our community, and our environment. As a bonus, I get to work with such incredibly kind, talented, and passionate people. Being here helps me restore some of my faith in humanity.” – Robbie

“FNB feels far more authentic and meaningful to me than standard nonprofit work. I’m not just serving food- I’m meeting people who share my values, who have a deeper connection to the community, and recognize the need for greater societal change.”

“I decided to FNB after being let go from my job in 2020 due to the pandemic. FNB gave me somewhere to go and a task to complete in addition to a new creative outlet and people to talk to! Since then it’s made me realize that my work is not my worth, taught me to be a gentler and kinder human, and helped me recognize that the community in Albany has so much to offer.”

“There are many times throughout my life I was starving and homeless and any rare kindness and support I received not only helped me survive but helped me restore my belief in my own worthiness and the good there still is in humanity. I decided I wanted to dedicate as much of my life as possible to providing that same direct support to anyone who needs it and at Food Not Bombs I’ve found other people who agree that we can genuinely make the world a better place in our everyday actions and by providing for basic human needs.”