Is SnackVan Carrying Healthy Foods?
For anyone who hasn't been watching, the actions against police brutality in Portland after the murder of George Floyd are now approaching 90 days without end. The Portland Police Bureau has responded in some way for the majority of those days, with federal law enforcement officers also involved at times. During many of those days, SnackVan has been there to provide nutrition for participants and even press. Whatever your opinion of the issue may be, the resilience of everyone involved for such a prolonged campaign will, at least partly, depend on balanced nutrition.
"An army marches on its stomach." Napoleon Bonaparte
I have no intention to describe anyone involved in these events, including law enforcement officers, as members of an army but to make a clear point about the importance of healthy habits. Resilience, to trauma or prolonged physical exertion, is enhanced or reduced from important health decisions like nutrition and hydration. SnackVan, in providing nutrition to participants during events, is partly defining the capacity of these events to continue. How the people involved care for themselves after these events will also impact their ability to bounce back from injuries, whether physical or mental.
Absorptive capacity, or the ability to reduce the impact of shocks, will likely impact everyone involved on a daily basis and is directly connected to nutrition. Coping with stress, an essential skill to improve absorptive capacity, is not only a mental process but a physical one. Improving nutrition and hydration will enhance this necessary capacity to maintain good health in extraordinarily challenging circumstances.
In contrast to the disagreement on the efficacy of the actions in Portland, or the moral value of those actions, there seems to be a general agreement that these events will continue. Good health will play a role in the outcome of each day's event, with bad health leading to worse decision-making. The value of SnackVan to these events seems to be well-recognized, with recent targeting by counter-protestors in the form of broken windows and other damage, as well as what appears to be targeting by law enforcement officers through tire slashing. This value, from the lens of resilience, can actually be seen to rise and fall based on what they're adding to the stomach of those involved.