Troop 100 from Luray, Virginia at the Boy Scout jamboree

Saving a snake from cars

Keith visiting orphanage in Lagos, Nigeria

Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry

"Since when did feeding the homeless become a terrorist activity?" asked ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson. "When the FBI and local law enforcement target groups like Food Not Bombs under the guise of fighting terrorism, many Americans who oppose government policies will be discouraged from speaking out and exercising their rights."

PRINT OUT A FLYER ON THE LIFE OF THE SPEAKER (Orlando Sentinal and Democracy Now! June 2011)

Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry is a dynamic, inspiring and experienced public speaker with a wealth of knowledge about the global movement Food Not Bombs. He helped start Food Not Bombs when he was a 23 year old college student. Today the U.S. State Department lists him among one of America's 100 most dangerous people. Keith can speak about a number of things including: community organizing, nonviolent civil resistance, poverty and hunger, disaster relief, alternative media, human rights, homelessness, domestic surveillance and the history of the peace and social justice movements. Mr. McHenry completed a number of courses in public speaking taught by the National Park Service at Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. He gave hundreds of presentations to thousands of National Park visitors about American history. Today Keith gives presentations about Food Not Bombs, global hunger and the peace and social justice movement.

Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry was born in Frankfurt, West Germany in 1957 while his father was stationed in the army there. In 1958, his family moved to Logan, Utah where his father got a job with Morton-Thiokol, testing highly destructive Minuteman intercontinental nuclear missiles. Once he attained his Masters in Zoology, his father took up a position as a ranger with the National Park Service. Keith had an idyllic childhood roaming the wilderness in America's National Parks like Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and the Everglades.

Keith's paternal great, great, great grandfather was Dr. James McHenry, who signed the United States Constitution as a delegate of the colony of Maryland, served as a general in the Revolutionary War and as Secretary of War under George Washington. He also initiated the founding of the United States military as Secretary of War under President John Adams. Keith's maternal grandfather was an intelligence officer for the U.S. Army during World War II and helped plan the fire bombing of Tokyo and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His father's mother had two uncles, Bob and Charlie Ford, who became famous for killing the popular outlaw Jesse James.

In 1974, Keith began studying painting at Boston University and was employed part-time as a tour guide and museum curator. He also worked as a sign painter and ran a successful advertising firm in Boston with clients such as The Boston Red Sox and the Celtics Basketball team. Keith was the recipient of several Clio Awards. His anti-nuclear war street art became the subject of an Off Broadway play called Murder Now! and the film, The Sidewalk Sector.

At the same time, Keith studied with Howard Zinn and became active with the Clamshell Alliance making several trips to Seabrook, New Hampshire to protest nuclear power. He organised actions in the major cities on the east coast of the United States, and garnered his political views by taking action against nuclear arms, wars in El Salvador and the Middle East, while promoting the virtues of alternative energy and organic gardening.

In 1980, Keith and seven friends started the first Food Not Bombs chapter in Cambridge, Massachusets. At first more of a street performance than a protest, the group provided entertainment and vegetarian meals in Harvard Square and the Boston Commons after making deliveries of uncooked food to most of the housing projects and shelters in the area. After eight years of serving free food in New England, Keith moved to San Francisco where he started a second Food Not Bombs group. He was one of nine volunteers arrested for sharing food and literature at Golden Gate Park on August 15, 1988. In the following years, Keith was arrested over 100 times for serving free food in city parks and spent over 500 nights in jail. He faced 25 years to life in prison under the California Three Strikes Law but in 1995, Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Commission brought about his release. He was invited to support Food Not Bombs in Florida when the Ft Lauderdale police raided the Food Not Bombs house. The federl appeals court had also ruled that the city of Orlando could limit Food Not Bombs to sharing meals at Lake Eola Park to twice a year and other Florida cities were introducing meal limit laws. Keith ended his tour in Orlando and was arrested along with 28 others in June 2011. He was freed after just 17 days in jail.


For the last fifteen years, Keith has been touring the world and starting up new Food Not Bombs groups and providing logistical support to existing chapters. In 2005, he helped coordinate America's largest food relief effort organizing shipments of food, clothing and other supplies for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force has been investigating and infiltrating Food Not Bombs groups across the United States often disrupting Keith's work. ABC TV's program 20/20 claimed Keith was one of twenty people planning to destroy New York City during the Republican National Convention in 2004. He was also taken off a flight from Heathrow to Chicago by Homeland Security. As America's post 9/11 paranoia amplified, so did the number of times Keith was blacklisted by the establishment being fired from several jobs at the request of military contractors like Raytheon Missile Systems.

On a personal level, Keith has suffered extreme painand is healing from fibromyalgia caused by police violence. San Francisco Police Intelligence officers stripped Keith of his clothes, lifted him by his limbs smashing him to the concrete floor of their office until his ligaments and tendons were ripped. He was pushed into a tiny cage called a ."Stress Position Box." hanging from the ceiling of their office and held in the dark for 3 days on three occasions. Even so he continues to dedicate his life to supporting Food Not Bombs.

Presently, Keith focuses his attention helping provide food to families struggling because of the global economic crisis. He speaks at book stores, colleges and universities about the Food Not Bombs movement, as well as helps organize protests, and cooks with local Food Not Bombs groups as he travels. He maintains a Food Not Bombs website and provides assistance to local chapters facing arrest, seeking information or requesting literature and logistical support. He also helps the public participate with Food Not Bombs, directing hungry people and potential volunteers to local chapters that feed the hungry each week in over 1,000 cities around the world.

Accolades and credits for Keith include the 1999 Local Hero Award by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Resister of the Year in 1995 and the Justice Studies Association's 2012 Noam Chomsky Award. He is co-founder of the No Police Brutality Day protests and helped start Indymedia (Independent Media Centre) and the Homes Not Jails squatters' movement. He also coined the term freegan. Keith is co-author and illustrator of "Food Not Bombs: How to Feed the Hungry and Build Community." His book has sold over 10,000 copies in English, 3,000 in Spanish, 3,000 in Italian and was just published in Russian. Keith also wrote and illustrated "HUNGRY FOR PEACE How you can help end poverty and war with Food Not Bombs" and wrote "The Anarchist Cookbook". He has appeared in Amnesty International's Human Rights Report," A People's History of The United States" by Howard Zinn and been interviewed and recorded in many journals, books and several documentary films. He is currently writing another book as he tours the world speaking about the movement.

Keith lives in Santa Cruz, California where they volunteer with the Food Not Bombs Free Skool. He enjoys sharing meals with the hungry, maintaining one of the movement's websites and helping coordinate logistics for Food Not Bombs. Keith also draws, paints, and writes about social justice issues.

Keith sharing vegan meals in Nigeria

He would be excited about sharing his experience with your community. Keith has given the presentation at many venues in the past few years including, at the University of Calabar Nigeria, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, University of Tubingen, York College, University of Wageningen, University of Northampton, Pitzer College, Sonoma State, San Francisco State, Dartmouth College, Hampshire College, Harvard University College of Law, Boston University, Williams College, Swarthmore, Vanderbuilt, Brandeis University, Truman University, MIT, The University of Washington, Oberlin College, Hendrix College, Guilford College, The San Francisco Anarchist Book Fair, the University of Northern Arizona and the World College. He also gave presentations at a number of other locations including the University of Vermont, the Sustainable Peace Fair, Reed College, The Building a New World Conference in Radford, Virginia, The University of Oregon, the Rawspririt Festival in Sedona and Prestcott, Arizona and the Victoria Anarchist Book Fair. He was also a speaker at the Beyond Borders: Education, Immigration and Cultural Exchange with the New Mexico High School Youth Conference. Keith also spoke at the National Animal Rights Conference, the Michigan Human Rights Conference, at Harvard University School of Law, Ohio Wesleyan University, Princeton University and All power to the Imagination Conference in Sarasota, Florida and many other confrences and universities.

The new 186 page book about Food Not Bombs by Keith McHenry he will be introducing on the tour.
"HUNGRY FOR PEACE How you can help end poverty and war with Food Not Bombs"

Food Not Bombs founder lives his philosophy (Orlando Sentinel - June 9, 2011)

FLYER ON THE LIFE OF THE SPEAKER (Orlando Sentinal and Democracy Now! June 2011)

It Must Be Love a song by Berkeley activist and musician Carol Denney

Meet Keith McHenry, Founder of Food Not Bombs (Interview by Micky Z)


Please consider inviting Mr. McHenry to speak to your community. Speaking fees are reasonable and donated to Food Not Bombs. Your community will find Keith's message hopeful, motivating and full of useful information sure to be an inspiration to everyone. Schools have provided honorariums from $900 to several thousand dollars which Keith donates to Food Not Bombs. To schedule your presentation call Keith at 575-770-3377 or email Keith at to make arrangements. You can call us toll free at 1-800-884-1136. We will give a free presentation for any Food Not Bombs group. Please contact us for more details.

Visit our schedule and consider booking a presentation when we are already in your area.

Keith marches at WTO action, Cancun Mexico

Keith working in the Food Not Bombs Free Skool garden

Listen to Keith's lecture at Oberlin College Keith's art and designs
The Food Not Bombs Menu and Keith's daily work Keith gets arrested for feeding the hungry
Keith's local chapter Taos Food Not Bombs Homeland Security, Police and FBI spying of Food Not Bombs
Kate Byrd interviews Keith on KRZA Keith Speaks on Taos Currents with host Mike Tilley
Media Interviews August 3, 2007 FBI Letter about Keith on the Terrorist Watch List
Wisconsin Network For Peace and Justice Speaker's Bureau Photos about Keith's Presentations

Food Not Bombs
P.O. Box 422, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 USA

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