We have a newer Stretch Goal! We are completely astounded by everyone's generosity! The internet is an incredible place. We are now trying to raise an additional $1000 for new kitchen appliances. We need a large chest freezer and a blender and a food processor. If you have any kitchen appliances to donate, contact us!
We have a new Stretch Goal! Thanks so much to everyone who donated so far! Our new goal is to raise $1000 to fix up Dr. Deesnuts, a custom made bike truck. He needs new brakes, wheels, handle bars, and most importantly a motor, so that The Gleaners Kitchen has a dedicated vehicle to dumpster and deliver food around Boston. Check out the video below!
The Gleaners kitchen does not sell food, we are seeking to create a radical space. There are no price tags. We ask that you show your gratitude for the space we provide by giving our kitchen anything that you feel is equivalent to the value of what you received. Not one of the rewards on this kickstarter features food as a product. We believe food is a fundamental right, and should be shared freely with all.
The Gleaners’ Kitchen is raising money to create a public space where all forms of value can be exchanged freely. We imagine a cafe, decorated with dumpstered flowers and cheap art, where people hungry for a different world can come and exchange ideas. There will always be coffee and tea and warm lentil soup. Meals will be served every day at 6:00 pm, with special events on the weekends. We imagine concerts, poetry readings, academic lectures and craftivist workshops, all facilitated by the preposterous amounts of free food our society has somehow forgotten. Art will be everywhere. It will be shared as freely as the food. No one will leave The Gleaners’ Kitchen without a bit of cardboard in their pockets and a bag of vegetables for their table at home.
We will use this space not only to host dinners and community events, but also as a base kitchen for food distribution. Orders will be placed by text message and food will be delivered via bike truck at any time of day to residents of the Cambridge area. The bike truck will also be used as a traveling food vendor, giving out prepared food at crowded metropolitan areas like Davis and Porter Square.
Risks and challenges
We are frequently asked about the legality of dumpster diving and food distribution, and it seems appropriate to address those concerns in the Risks and Challenges section.
Is dumpstering illegal?
Short answer: Not if the dumpster is on a public street.
Due to the ill defined nature of privacy laws in the United States, Dumpster Diving lives in a grey area of legality. In the 1988 Supreme Court case California v. Greenwood, (text at http://tinyurl.com/at6g5cp) the court ruled that the fourth amendment does not prohibit the warrantless search and seizure of garbage left out for public collection. In other words, once something is thrown out, it is in the public domain and anyone can search through it. Dumpster Divers may still be violating some trespassing laws however, so it seems that dumpsters live at the nexus point between public and private.
Is serving dumpstered food illegal?
Short answer: Not if its given away for free.
In 1996 Congress passed into law the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. (text at http://tinyurl.com/awurh3g) This law prevents food donors from being liable for the nature of their donated food, except in cases of gross negligence. This makes it legal to distribute food that is apparently safe, but not marketable due to “appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus, or other conditions.” In other words, so long as neither The Gleaners Kitchen nor the grocery stores we frequent knowingly put poison in the food, it is legal for the store to give it to us, and for us to give it to you.
The Gleaners’ Kitchen is based on trust.
For too long we have outsourced our own sense of food quality to the FDA, and our trust in each other to the protection of the law. Every piece of food we serve is hand inspected and washed by the cooks. Who would you prefer to oversee your food, a friendly face with a steaming bowl of soup, or a government agency with an expired label?
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