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Sunny War on the Importance of Giving Back

"There's a lot of stuff that people can take into their own hands instead of waiting for the government to do stuff," says folk-punk artist
Sunny War
Sunny War (Credit: Shannon Altner)

Sunny War has been one of 2023’s breakout artists. Her latest album, Anarchist Gospel, was released in February to widespread acclaim, including a spot on our Best Albums of the Year (So Far) list.

Beyond music, activism has been a vital part of War’s life. When she was homeless, War was the beneficiary of services provided by the Berkeley chapter of Food Not Bombs, a collective that distributes free vegan and vegetarian food to the hungry. While living in Los Angeles in 2019, she helped start the downtown L.A. chapter of Food Not Bombs. War wanted to pay it forward, knowing that the organization helped her when she was at a low point in her life.

“There’s a lot of stuff that people can take into their own hands instead of waiting for the government to do stuff,” War says.

Seeing the tent cities on Skid Row inspired War to spring into action. Now there are a number of non-profit organizations that donate food to that chapter, and that number continues to grow. The organization has its own collection of volunteers contributing produce from their gardens, allowing the chapter to be “almost completely self-sustained as far as the food.”

“I just felt like we needed some kind of community thing to do there,” she says.

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