In Orlando, Florida, laws against feeding the homeless were actually upheld in court. Since April of 2011 it's been illegal to give someone food there. That's when a group of activists lost a court battle against the city to overturn its 2006 laws that restrict sharing food with groups larger than 25 people.
In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has banned citizens from donating food directly to homeless shelters. Food donations have been outlawed because the city cannot assess the salt, fat and fiber content.
This problem isn't isolated to Orlando and New York City. More than 50 cities including Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Oklahoma City and others have adopted anti-food sharing laws.
The center of attention on this edition of Crosstalk was the city of Raleigh, North Carolina and how they're treating the homeless. On August 24th, Love Wins Ministries showed up at Moore Square at 9am to distribute free hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to the homeless. 3 police officers prevented them from doing the work for the first time ever. Ministry workers were told that if they went ahead with food distribution, they would be arrested. No Raleigh police department representative was willing to tell ministry workers what ordinance was violated and why.
When Vic investigated what was needed, he was informed that a permit was required. The cost? $800 per day.
To comment on behalf of the homeless in Raleigh, North Carolina, call:
Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
Public Affairs Department—Karen Thomas
Raleigh Common Council