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Answering Adversity

Yasmin Alishav, Team Los Angeles
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The first few visits to Food Not Bombs Aglago during the course of this project, I didn’t bring a camera. I wanted to go through the process and get to know the amazing people who coordinate the Los Angeles chapter of FNB.

Maybe I had a preconceived notion about who the hungry would be.

I was totally shocked when I saw the diversity of the people standing in line to be fed. This included jobless Americans and immigrants, the elderly and even people who have jobs but cannot afford a place to stay. I met a registered nurse who is homeless.

Nobody gets paid to help. Every Sunday they cook and serve wonderful organic food left over from the farmers markets to people who don’t have access to good nutrition. I became more and more involved every week I went back.

The organization costs next to nothing to run, and that makes it a brilliant example of finding alternative ways to supplement the waning government aid. They don’t rely on state or private funding and the food service is mobile. The food lines are set up in Pershing Square and outside the Union Rescue Mission on San Julian and 6th St., also known as Skid Row.

Food Not Bombs has chapters all over the country and it’s one of many sustainable grass-roots organizations.

Being involved locally can change the lives of people around us. It was moving to meet so many people who care about hunger so much they feel the need to do something about it firsthand. They don’t preach, they just do. It silenced a deep doubt that I had that people simply don’t care.

Working alongside these compassionate and proactive people is inspiring each time I go back.

© Yasmin Alishav
All images in this article © Yasmin Alishav

© Yasmin Alishav

© Yasmin Alishav