"Give Food, Give Love" Food Not Bombs in Eugene
EUGENE, Ore. -- On Sunday afternoons near 8th Avenue and Oak Street, the Saturday Market block fills with people wearing backpacks or carrying bags of belongings. A diverse crowd of men and women, both old and young, is looking for a warm meal from Food Not Bombs, a national non-profit group.
For many of these people, this may be their only chance to eat for the day.
“Food Not Bombs is considered a 'temporary benevolent restaurant' . . . that’s what we’re licensed as,” Kevin Treacy said. Tracey has been the Food Not Bombs coordinator for over a decade. When he first started, the organization served food at Washington-Jefferson Park and then Kesey Square, before moving to their current location that they share with Occupy Medical, a free health clinic.
Over the years, he has recruited volunteers and encouraged community members to help, partially because they need helping hands, and partially because he wants to dissolve the stereotypes people have about the homeless.
“Some people on the streets are really good people,” Treacy said, “especially the kids.”
Treacy has a soft spot for “street kids.” At night, he often bikes around the downtown area to deliver any extra food he has prepared to these unhoused youths. He also coordinates with his friends to find safe places where young homeless people can stay.
As the afternoon grows late, the food has been served, and tables are taken down, Kevin knows he has made people’s lives a little easier -- at least for one more day.
“Its more about love than food,” Treacy said. “The food is just a convenient physical manifestation of love.”
Amanda Butt, Jonas Anim, and Ivan LaFollette contributed to this piece. This story was produced by students at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in partnership with KLCC.