The Peterborough chapter of Food Not Bombs, the global food sharing movement, celebrated its seventh birthday earlier this month at the George St. United Church.

The focus of the festivities was, of course, the free vegan and vegetarian feast. Just like the weekly meals, an offering of a cornucopia of dishes brought together all kinds of people on a brisk November night.

Unlike the usual feasts, however, this event featured an open mic segment, with acts ranging from comedy to spoken word to folk duo to food-themed punk rock. Peterborough’s Raging Grannies, a group of singing senior activists, opened the night.

This coming together of members of the community is what Food Not Bombs is all about. Speeches given by long-time volunteers in honour of the anniversary mentioned the co-operative grassroots origins of the endeavour that would eventually become the Peterborough chapter.

As a regular attendant of the Monday night meals, I’ve seen firsthand the dedication of those who are committed to gathering food from friends, farmers and grocers that would otherwise throw it out, cooking that food, and serving it no matter what the weather. I’ve also seen the people who depend on this process.

Over the last seven years, Food Not Bombs has grown to become a staple community event and an essential part of certain lives. If you have friends who are into this sort of thing, tell them to get involved; as was said at the birthday bash, the group is anyone who donates, cooks, and even eats. Happy birthday, FNB. And many more.