Peace Scientists work for peace
Sunday free lunch in Camden, New Jersey
Until December 2015, when Newton Monthly Meeting changed the locks and told us we were no longer welcome, a lively bunch of Quakers and non-Quakers met every 2nd, 4th or 5th Sundays to prepare food for serving. The food we cooked ourselves that morning from donations and harvests from the urban garden. Kitchenware, tables, serving supplies are currently in storage. We are happy to donate it all to any group who has a mission of feeding the hungry.

Below was written in September 2015 by SJ Dodgson.

We arrive any time after 9am (sometimes we are there at 8am, but someone is always there at 9am) at Newton Friends Meeting, which is 2 wooden buildings in an urban farm in Camden, New Jersey. For more on us, and excruciatingly precise directions (GPS does not know us) click here.

Come for lunch? We serve food from 12.30 (sometimes a few minutes later) on the sidewalks outside CVS on Mickle Boulevard.  Walk across the CVS parking lot behind the Walter Rand Riverline Station.

We had usually given out all our food by 1.30pm, earlier if it is cold, or if all our guest showed up at once. Every Riverline brings us guests, and we serve food until it is gone. We could always use more food, but we do our best. We usually hang around until after 1.30pm, cleaning up, packing up our tables, chatting with our guests.

Donations? We could always use a second enormous salad bowl, more enormous pots, more paper plates, paper bowls, napkins and utensils. And we can always use donated vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, rice, bread. Anything. Even cash. You will get an official receipt.

Because access to food is a human right. Along with free education, clean water, freedom from harassment. Human rights according to the United Nations click here.
5th Sunday in Camden. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2015 v9n2 p0831

We served about 150 guests a great lunch yesterday, Sunday, Aug 30, 2015.

Huge bowl of salad, beans and rice, herbed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, greens we grew, harvested and cooked, tomato sauce we grew, harvested and cooked, chicken noodle soup, bagel pieces, bottled water and lots and lots of ice water.

Those who rely on food stamps were really hungry, the food stamps do not stretch the month. We had a great turnout of volunteers: Mike as always was coordinating and cooking, Vint was back from vacation, as was Rev Eve, Taft and Abigail.

We had Michael with us for the first time, and the husband (Art) and 2 children (Katherine and Michael) of Peachie, Chris Kroll was there, and I rounded out the crew.

Before we went out to serve food, Vint led a short Meeting for Worship, which firmly informed us that we were receiving more than we are giving (absolutely) and we all laughed our way through food preparation, serving and cleaning up afterwards.

Oh my! Newton Meeting's urban farm is looking wonderful! All around, pictures from our kitchen and urban farm from August 2015. Right, a picture from Nov 10, 2014, a warm day when salad was prepared outdoors. The clock on Camden City Hall, and getting ready to serving our guests August, 2015.

No, I do not take pictures of our guests. They come from all over, some with children, some leave sick relatives at home and bring home a lovely lunch to them. Some just show up for lunch because they know they are welcome. Because all are. And anyone wanting to volunteer is welcome. Send an email or just show up. If you can bring donated food, plates, eating utensils, cups, napkins, that is great too. Not a problem if you cannot. There will be plenty to eat, and you are welcome.

Mission Statement

Food Not Bombs recovers and shares free vegan or vegetarian food with the public without restriction in over 1,000 cities around the world to protest war, poverty and the destruction of the environment. Each group is independent and invites everyone to participate in making decisions for their local chapter using the consensus process. Food Not Bombs is dedicated to taking nonviolent direct action to change society so no one is forced to stand in line to eat at a soup kitchen expressing a commitment to the fact that food is a right and not a privilege. With over a billion people going hungry each day how can we spend another dollar on war?

Newton Friends' Meeting click here
Camden New Jersey click here
Human rights click here
Quakers click here
Diabetes click here
Every 2nd, 4th and 5th Sunday in Camden, NJ, Quakers (aka Friends) and friends prepare food in our own kitchens and the kitchen of Newton Friends' Meeting click here, and throw a lunch party for our guests. I have been part of this happy group since summer 2014, a latecomer. The Sunday dinner party started as an offshoot from Food Not Bombs in 2009.
Posted in an online forum on, Oct 2009:

Me and some friends are starting a Camden/South Jersey chapter of Food Not Bombs."

"FNB is a really cool activist/revolutionary/whatever you want to call it volunteer movement. The main point is feeding the hungry, although the group also has a focus on anti-war political activism. Regardless of your political orientation, though, its impossible not to recognize the good things that FNB has done.

'Food Not Bombs is often the first to provide food and supplies to the survivors of disasters. During the first three days after the 1989 Earthquake, Food Not Bombs was the only organization in San Francisco providing hot meals to the survivors. Food Not Bombs was also the first to provide hot meals to the rescue workers responding to September 11th World Trade Center attacks. Food Not Bombs volunteers were among the first to provide food and help to the survivors of the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Our volunteers organized a national collection program and delivered bus and truckloads of food and supplies to the gulf region. We were one of the only organizations sharing daily meals in New Orleans after Katrina. Food Not Bombs is now preparing for the economic crash organizing Food Not Lawns community gardens, housing the homeless with Homes Not Jails, organizing additional meals each week and starting new Food Not Bombs chapters.'

I'm looking forward to getting it off the ground, though. Between this and the bike share, I'm hoping I'll be able to keep myself busy, while also doing something worthwhile with my time/life."
Camden Food Not Bombs page on Facebook, maintained by the Rev Eve click here.
Walking across the bridge to Philadelphia click here