There is a growing movement in the U.S. that is challenging our moral resolve. The government is cracking down on one of the most humane things we can do as people, feeding the poor & hungry. It is hard to believe, but the government now is actually fining and jailing people who are feeding the homeless in cities across the US.
In fact, distributing free food to the homeless is illegal in more than 70 U.S. cities including Philadelphia, Atlanta, NYC, Miami and more.
In Ft. Lauderdale, a 90-year-old WWII veteran was arrested for feeding the homeless.
The reasons are usually very shallow, and seem to be designed to try and drive homeless people away. Many city officials feel that if efforts are made to keep feeding them, then the problem will only increase.
Here are just a few reasons that some cities have cited on their web sites:
- The city is concerned about food safety and making the homeless ill
- The city requires permits (for a fee, of course) in order to distribute free food
- The city has strict food preperation guidelines
- The city requires food distribution to be done indoors only
- The city wants to make homeless people go away
- The city says that food given to the public can not be prepared in a “non-commercial” kitchen
Not according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. This non-profit organization says that banning food distribution does not reduce the homelessness rates in cities because the homeless are not there because they want to be; They are there because they cannot find affordable housing, jobs, and many have mental health problems, addictions and physical disabilities for which they know of no place to go for help.
As of January 2018, there were 564,708 people in the U.S. who were homeless.
For more details about homeless people and the banning of food distributions, visit www.nationalhomeless.org
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