Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Politics

With rice, beans and optimism, group plans to feed thousands of RNC protesters

TAMPA —There are three apartments in Tampa where living rooms are stacked to the ceiling with rice and beans, pasta and potatoes.

Enough, local activists hope, to feed the thousands of protesters expected in Tampa next week for the Republican National Convention.

The stockpiles are made up of donations and surplus food discarded from local restaurants and food pantries. It was collected by volunteers from Food Not Bombs, a grass roots group that feeds protesters at various events across the country.

Exactly how much food do they need?

They don't know.

How many people are they expecting to feed?

They don't know that, either.

How can they be sure they'll have enough?

"It's like magic somehow," said Keith McHenry, who helped start the organization in 1980.

The strategy is simple: Make lots and lots of food, and when you run out, make more.

McHenry has plenty of experience. Over more than 30 years, he and his volunteers have traveled everywhere from San Diego to New York City to feed protesters.

They typically offer oatmeal for breakfast and some kind of pasta or rice and beans, maybe with a veggie stir-fry, for dinner. There's no meat and typically no dairy, as the group can't count on refrigeration. "We don't want to be killing people," McHenry said.

They cook the food in various kitchens. In this case, three protesters who live near downtown Tampa have offered up their homes. Or, McHenry can cook out of his own home: his big brown van, where he's installed a small stove-top next to the mattress where he sleeps.

It's not just about the food, he said. The group also hopes to spread its own message: It's more important for the government to invest in basic human needs like food, shelter and health care than to pour money into the military.

If someone takes that idea away, with their belly full, "that's what I'm most proud of," McHenry said.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3337.

Comments
Seniors support ‘grandchildren’ with gun-control rally in Sun City Center

Seniors support ‘grandchildren’ with gun-control rally in Sun City Center

SUN CITY CENTER — Millions of women marched on Washington. Thousands of teenagers rallied in Tallahassee and Tampa Bay.And in Sun City Center, nearly 150 seniors held a demonstration for gun control on April 21, offering a simple but poignant message...
Published: 04/25/18

Sean Hannity, a Trump defender, under scrutiny for real estate deals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)ATLANTA — On his Fox News program last summer, Sean Hannity effused praise for his guest, U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson. "I know you have done a good job," Hannity said. "You are a good man."Carson’s presence gav...
Published: 04/23/18
Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

With the third largest Cuban American population, Cuba’s culture is celebrated throughout the Tampa Bay area and in a diversity of ways.Flags hang in homes, fashion is worn, music performed, food served.But be wary of honoring that heritage by puttin...
Published: 04/23/18
Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

WEST PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings. Trump, in a series of tweets fired from Florida o...
Published: 04/21/18

Vive la France: Trump hosts glitzy White House state dinner

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Donald Trump’s turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of U.S.-French relat...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Rick Scott’s term limits idea: Hugely popular and highly unrealistic

Rick Scott’s term limits idea: Hugely popular and highly unrealistic

WASHINGTON — Gov. Rick Scott’s first policy idea as a U.S. Senate candidate won’t happen and most of his fellow Republicans don’t support it.But it’s a surefire applause line at political rallies.Scott wants term limits for members of Congress: 12 ye...
Published: 04/23/18
Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

WASHINGTON — Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, is "very upset and disappointed" by comments made by his former boss James Comey that contradict his account of a disclosure to the news media, McCabe’s lawyer said Friday. "Andy has at all ...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

The one thing you can say for sure about electing a mayor in Tampa is you can’t really say anything for sure.Historical proof: A couple of elections ago, Harvard-educated hometown-boy-gone-to-Washington Frank Sanchez was going to be our next mayor, h...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Published: 04/20/18