Three arrested, accused of illegally feeding homeless

orlandosentinel.com/news/local/crime/os-homeless-feedings-arrests-20110601,0,7226362.story

Members of Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested Wednesday when police said they violated a city ordinance by feeding the homeless in Lake Eola Park.

Jessica Cross, 24, Benjamin Markeson, 49, and Jonathan “Keith” McHenry, 54, were arrested at 6:10 p.m. on a charge of violating the ordinance restricting group feedings in public parks. McHenry is a co-founder of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which began in the early 1980s.

The group lost a court battle in April, clearing the way for the city to enforce the ordinance. It requires groups to obtain a permit and limits each group to two permits per year for each park within a 2-mile radius of City Hall.

So, twice a year is enough? I’m surprised at this, since when is doing our Lord’s work not legal? Have we become such a society that simple kindness is deemed a threat?

Right, they have a slightly different mindset about the homeless. Its not new though, at least they been consistant for decades. :confused:

What that news story doesn’t mention (probably because it would be hearsay and gossip) is that many of the people involved with Food Not Bombs are, how to put this charitably?, OWS dumpster diver types. There’s a very real public safety risk not knowing if the food they’re feeding the homeless was purchased at the store or cooked at home or if it’s an uneaten dinner roll a restaurant threw out the night before. You’d be surprised how many restaurants have to keep a padlock on their trash cans.

[/FONT]http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/01/us/01orlando.html

*The hacker group [/FONT]Anonymous has declared a cyberwar against the City of Orlando, disabling Web sites for the city’s leading redevelopment organization, the local Fraternal Order of Police and the mayor’s re-election campaign. *
I know an eye for an eye is going to make all of up blind, but I’m having a hard time condeming Anonymous for this.

Luna

It’s a sad testimony that an act of feeding hungry homeless people is so rigidly regulated and legally discouraged. How uncharitable can one get?

This doesn’t just apply to food not bombs. No one can feed people more than twice a year.

Also, I have never heard of anyone getting sick from the feedings. There are some opinion pieces on the site in the link. Not once is safety or health concerns about the food brought up.

So I don’t think they were worried about the safety of the food.

Wow, so feeding the homeless now, if they show up in groups of people, is now illegal? How very sad. :frowning:

orlandosentinel.com/news/os-scott-maxwell-homeless-feeding-06020110607,0,6461640.column

Opinion piece

Why are they forced to feed in public parks, why haven’t some churches, any denomination, stepped up and offered their parking lot?

In fairness to the city of Orlando, they are not forbidding soup kitchens and similar food programs. However, the city doesn’t want such gatherings to occur in the public parks.

Hm… if this were true, and I have doubts about it, then the city could use health code violations to shut down the program. Doing so would help the city avoid some of the negative publicity it has attracted. But I doubt that dumpster-dived food is being served.

I don’t think that is quite right. The city’s law is that no one can get a park permit more than twice a year, not that group feedings are restricted to twice a year. Again, soup kitchens are not forbidden in Orlando. Here is one such program with two locations, including downtown Orlando
christianservicecenter.org/what_we_do.php

BTW, the article in the first post was published June 2011. A disclaimer near the top of the article states that charges against the three people who were arrested have been dropped, as of August 2011. Does anyone know why charges were dropped? What is the current status or activity of Food Not Bombs in Orlando?

The city of Sanford is currently considering laws similar to those of Orlando’s.

Sanford may restrict feedings of the poor at city parks in response to complaints from residents who fear that the events are making the city a destination for the homeless.

City commissioners, who also plan to tighten existing regulations on panhandling, have discussed limiting the number of large group feedings allowed each year or moving them out of parks altogether.

articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-12-06/news/os-homeless-feedings-sanford-20111206_1_large-group-feedings-homeless-population-homeless-services-network

If adopted such laws would shut down a Saturday meal program and a Sunday meal program run by two different organizations. This, it is feared by some, would leave a gap in food coverage on weekends.

or even offered to bus them to a soup kitchen for a freshly cooked meal

You’re a rotten, Mr. Grinch.

The big goal is to get the people employed and back into homes. About the only way a city can help achieve this is to stay attractive to business. Business means jobs. Having public parks clogged with feces and and soup lines makes the city area unattractive. Makes people avoid the area. Makes businesses in the area suffer. Makes business lay off employees. Makes more people homeless. (And then we can discuss the disease from human waste.)

If there was nothing else around to help the homeless, that would be another story. Although, a public park still would not be good.

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