Food-gifting in Gdańsk. Between Food Not Bombs and the Food Bank
Keywords:Food gifting, Food Not Bombs, Food Bank, collective food procurement, solidarity
The FoodCitizens? project compares cases of collective food procurement in three countries of the European Union (Poland, Italy and the Netherlands), specifically in three post-industrial cities of comparable size and population, namely Gdansk, Turin and Rotterdam. The project explores how networks of social actors organize themselves at comparable levels of intervention (foraging, namely gathering or producing food themselves; short food chains, namely engaging directly with producers; governance, namely rethinking markets, allotments and modes of procuring food that are relevant to urban procurement). The methodology of the project is to "compare by context" how these three levels materialize in the three cities: which social actors are actually engaged, through which concrete actions, and how politics and governance affect what is otherwise largely depicted as a mere issue of economics and/or sustainability (how to produce and procure food sustainably at affordable prices). This way, so-called (post)socialist food-ways assume a particular significance as not necessarily "the odd one out" in EU regions and economies, but rather as one of the possible identifiable cultural and economic pathways that collectivities take as they are informed by specific histories, territories, local economies, and social or demographic challenges. This article focuses on very different urban forms of food rescue and reallocation in Gdansk, namely through the grassroots activities Food not Bombs and through the Food Bank. Based on participant observation of relevant case studies in gentrifying Gdansk, the article focuses on the re-invention of "food waste", of food gifting, and food rescue.
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