Food Not Bombs activist in Chico

Keith McHenry to speak at Chico Peace & Justice Center on March 23

Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry is coming to speak in Chico on March 23.

Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry is coming to speak in Chico on March 23.

PHOTO Courtesy of keith mchenry

Food Not Bombs
On Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m., Taos, N.M.-based environmental/social-change writer and artist Keith McHenry—who co-founded the first Food Not Bombs group in Massachusetts in 1980—will be speaking in Chico at the Chico Peace & Justice Center (526 Broadway, 893-9078) as part of Food Not Bombs’ 2013 Elect to End Hunger and Poverty Tour.

“Chico’s Food Not Bombs chapter is so excited to welcome Keith McHenry to Chico. He is an amazing individual who has dedicated his life to fighting hunger and poverty around the world,” offered representative Carmel Brosnan in an email. “Keith just returned from the Philippines where he visited numerous chapters of Food Not Bombs, sharing food and spreading inspiration with his powerful message.”

McHenry (pictured), who lived in a number of United States national parks as a child (his father was a park naturalist), “has recovered, cooked and shared food with the hungry … for over 30 years,” as the Food Not Bombs website states (go to for more info). His food activism led him to being “arrested ‘for making a political statement’ in San Francisco.” McHenry “spent [more than] 500 nights in jail and faced 25 years to life in prison. He spent 19 days in jail in 2011 for sharing vegan meals in violation of Orlando, Florida’s large-group feeding law.”

McHenry weighed in via email: “Food Not Bombs is gaining momentum throughout the world. There are hundreds of autonomous chapters sharing free vegetarian food with hungry people and protesting war and poverty.

“Food Not Bombs is not a charity. This energetic, all-volunteer grassroots movement is active throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. For over thirty years the movement has worked to end hunger and has supported actions to stop the globalization of the economy, restrictions to the movement of people, end exploitation and the destruction of the earth and its beings.”

Jack in the Box’s Hot Mess.

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The event is free and open to the public.

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (as quoted on the Food Not Bombs website)

Time bomb, not food
There’s a billboard near my house featuring a huge photograph of Jack in the Box’s new Hot Mess burger, an astonishing, piled-up mélange of burger patty, onion rings and jalapeño peppers on a sourdough bun, slathered in “gooey pepper jack cheese,” as Jack in the Box’s website describes it.

“Jack in the Box’s Hot Mess Burger is possibly the messiest fast-food burger my hands and mouth have ever wrapped themselves around,” wrote Marvo, in a January 31 post at

“What makes this burger so messy?” Marvo asked. “What was to blame for my excessive use of paper products was the greasy, toasted sourdough bread and the melted white cheddar and pepper jack cheeses,” which Marvo described as “more like a cheese sauce…[that] didn’t harden much and … oozed all over the place.”

Marvo went on to praise the “nice spicy kick” of the jalapeños before acknowledging that the Hot Mess is “quite unhealthy (which is expected).”

I definitely won’t say ‘Check it out’ on this one.