Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has announced a ban on the feeding of large numbers of homeless and hungry people at sites on and near the
Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Mayor Nutter is imposing the ban on all outdoor feedings of large numbers of people on city parkland, including
and the Love Park Ben Franklin Parkway, where it is not uncommon for outreach groups to offer free food.
Nutter says the feedings lack both sanitary conditions and dignity.
Over the past week, twelve members of food activist group Food Not Bombs have been arrested in
for giving free food to groups of homeless people in a downtown park. They were acting in defiance of a controversial city ordinance that mandates permits for groups distributing food to large groups in parks within two miles of City Hall. Each group is allowed only two permits per park per year; Food Not Bombs has already exceeded their limit. They set up their meatless buffet in Orlando knowing that they would likely be arrested as a result. Lake Eola
Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown
every day. They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said. Houston
That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their "Feed a Friend" effort for lack of a permit. And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one.
We don't really know what they want, we just think that they don't want us down there feeding people," said Bobby Herring, a Christian rapper who goes by the stage name Tre9.
A Dallas-area ministry is suing the city over a food ordinance that restricts the group from giving meals to the homeless.
Courts dismissed Dallas’ request for a summary judgment last week, saying the case, brought up by pastor Don Hart (in video above) may indeed be a violation of free exercise of religion, as protected by the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the blog Religion Clause reported.
In the court filing, the ministry leaders argue that their Christian faith requires them to share meals with the homeless (Jesus did!) and that the requirement that even churches and charities provide toilets, sinks, trained staff and consent of the city keeps them from doing so.
Las Vegas, whose homeless population has doubled in the past decade to about 12,000 people in and around the city, joins several other cities across the country that have adopted or considered ordinances limiting the distribution of charitable meals in parks. Most have restricted the time and place of such handouts, hoping to discourage homeless people from congregating and, in the view of officials, ruining efforts to beautify downtowns and neighborhoods.
ordinance is believed to be the first to explicitly make it an offense to feed “the indigent.” Las Vegas
The Bloomberg administration is now taking the term “food police” to new depths, blocking food donations to all government-run facilities that serve the city’s homeless.
In conjunction with a mayoral task force and the Health Department, the Department of Homeless Services recently started enforcing new nutritional rules for food served at city shelters. Since DHS can’t assess the nutritional content of donated food, shelters have to turn away good Samaritans.