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Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico

For years the Puerto Rican and US governments have cut and privatized social services in order to pay for colonial debts. But Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico knows the archipelago’s people can’t eat austerity. Through community kitchens, Comedores Sociales are putting food on tables and food sovereignty into practice.

Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico is a self-managed food distribution initiative through collective kitchens centered on solidarity. They were built on the idea that “We can meet our common needs from below.” They work to combat hunger by collectivizing solutions and building independence from the state, U.S. government, and traditional philanthropic foundations.

Comedores Sociales have many community kitchens in which people can either work or donate in exchange for food, allowing the community to reclaim its own resources and labor and helping the movement to sustain itself. One of these is Cocina Rebelde. While serving food, members also receive political education. This includes practical training on organizing and education on popular solidarity economies – grounded in a feminist perspective and with an eye to collective solutions. Comedores Sociales also support other movements on the ground by providing food for events and organizing protests.

Even before Hurricane Maria, 35 percent of Puerto Rico was food insecure. Comedores Sociales is moving beyond capitalism and fighting for food sovereignty so that land and food are no longer instruments of domination.

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