Feeding Homeless Apparently Illegal in Raleigh, NC

Maggie, Sarah, our church partner, and I speak with an officer.

Maggie, Sarah, our church partner, and I speak with an officer.

What Happened

On the morning of Saturday, August, 24, Love Wins showed up at Moore Square at 9:00 a.m., just like we have done virtually every Saturday and Sunday for the last six years. We provide, without cost or obligation, hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to anyone who wants one. We keep this promise to our community in cooperation with five different, large suburban churches that help us with manpower and funding.

On that morning three officers from Raleigh Police Department prevented us from doing our work, for the first time ever. An officer said, quite bluntly, that if we attempted to distribute food, we would be arrested.

Me addressing the crowd. "They will arrest me if I give you a biscuit."

Me addressing the crowd. “They will arrest me if I give you a biscuit.”

Our partnering church brought 100 sausage biscuits and large amounts of coffee. We asked the officers for permission to disperse the biscuits to the over 70 people who had lined up, waiting to eat. They said no. I had to face those who were waiting and tell them that I could not feed them, or I would be arrested.

In the past, we have had a good working relationship with the Raleigh Police Department. We knew that we could not use the park itself, as doing so required a permit, but that it was acceptable to set up on the sidewalk, as long as we did not block the sidewalk and cleaned up after ourselves. We have operated, unmolested, under this assumption for the last six years.

By the way, each permit to use the park costs $800. Yes, eight hundred dollars. That would cost us $1,600 every weekend, and the officer we spoke to said the City likely wouldn’t approve it anyway.

No representative from the Raleigh Police Department was willing to tell us which ordinance we broke, or why, after six years and countless friendly and cooperative encounters with the Department, they are now preventing us from feeding hungry people.

When I asked the officer why, he said that he was not going to debate me. “I am just telling you what is. Now you pass out that food, you will go to jail.”

What We Will Do

Simple: we will feed people. I am, after all (however imperfectly), a follower of Jesus, who said himself that when we ignore hungry people, we ignore him.

We knew that with the upcoming revitalization of Moore Square, we would have to find alternative arrangements. We have been working to that end, but as the revitalization is currently unfunded, and has no start date, we felt we had some time.

What We Won’t Do

We appreciate all the ways you have written in to suggest that we could subvert the system, but to do that only admits to the City of Raleigh that its argument is legitimate. We maintain that we have done nothing wrong.

We feed people and have been doing so, and much more, for six years. On the weekends people have no where else to go other than the park because Wake County and/or the City of Raleigh offers no soup kitchens or other options on the weekends. None. There is no “official” place you can get a meal if you are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. You are left to your wits, and for the last six years, you could get a cup of hot coffee and a hot breakfast sandwich from us – because you could not get one from any tax funded location.

We have not hidden. Our work of bringing biscuits to the park has been mentioned in multiple full-page articles in the local paper over the years. We have had countless routine conversations with the police while doing this alleged illegal activity. We do not hide. And while, according to the City of Raleigh, it might be illegal to feed hungry people, it is most assuredly the right thing to do.

Update, Summer 2014: In less than one year we went from the incident you just read about to sharing food in an air-conditioned building with bathrooms and tables. Read more updates here. Photos of the facility, named the Oak City Outreach Center, are below.


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Hugh Hollowell

Hugh Hollowell

Pastor & Executive Director at Love Wins Ministries
Hugh is a Mennonite minister and the founding director of Love Wins. He likes peanut M&Ms.
Hugh Hollowell

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964 Responses to Feeding Homeless Apparently Illegal in Raleigh, NC

  1. william says:

    sad lived in raleigh many many years sad. try state campus.
    will pass this on!!!

  2. Candace Manna says:

    What has happened in this country, when we deprive the hungry and homeless of a free breakfast sandwich and coffee. Makes me sick, when people treat people less fortunate so badly.

  3. Amy Simpson says:

    Talk to Cynthia Deis, owner of Onamentea, on the corner of West & Johnson Streets in Glenwood South. http://www.ornamentea.com/Contact.htm
    It’s not what you mean by “downtown core,” I suppose, but it’s only a few yards from an R-line stop; it runs in the morning on Saturday, but not until 1 p.m. on Sunday, though: http://www.godowntownraleigh.com/get-around/r-line

    Another possibility is on the campus of Glenwood Towers, at the corner of Johnson Street & Glenwood Avenue and also across the street from the R-line. It’s Federal Public Housing for the Elderly, and you would no doubt attract some of the residents here. The manager is Melissa Brigman: mbrigman@rhaonline.com; 919-508-1229. You can also ask her about St. Savior’s, an adjacent building where Meals on Wheels are served; I don’t know who the contact is for that.

    Beyond that, I would suggest scoping out the entire R-line for other locations. They might not be as central as you would like, but your folks could get there for free.

    Good luck!

  4. Sean Beeg says:

    I’ve written to the folks you mentioned and in short have exhorted them (politely) to explain why you were stopped from feeding the homeless and hungry today. I’ve also written to the American Center for Law and Justice as well as to the Senators in NC. I did say I would also write the Office of the President of the United States and I will, but I am not hopeful that will accomplish anything. Your team, the homeless and hungry and your local lawmakers & enforcement officers remain in my prayers. -Sean

  5. judith malone says:

    I have no words, but I absolutely must post in support.

  6. Linda Noble says:

    I have visited Raleigh NC as a tourist, and had a very positive impression for the last few years, until now. If there is a reasonable explanation for preventing good volunteers from feeding the needy, at no expense to the taxpayers, they should make it public immediately! If the explanation is unreasonable political nonsense, they should apologize to the givers of the food and support, at least passively, the efforts of the do-gooders.

  7. Altha Satterwhite says:

    I was born, raised and schooled in NC, ‘though live in FL now. I love NC; but for actions like these, I am ashamed. I can only pray that all your efforts and responses bring about a change-of-heart in the city’s leaders so that your loving, compassionate, Christ-like ministry may continue to feed the hungry. May God lead and guide you.

  8. Selena says:

    Maybe if you all had considered cleaning up all of the litter after your attempts to feed the hungry, this wouldn’t have happened. These people throw the trash and half eaten food on the ground every week. Consider some clean up efforts after the meals and maybe the city will resume looking the other way. Just a suggestion!

    • Joe Hergenroder says:

      Speaking as one of “those people,” no we don’t. That’s a few jerks, not the homeless community at large.

  9. Barbara says:

    I would say talk to the churches in that area and see if any of them would let you use their parking lot or the likes to do this wonderful work of the lord. Prayers and blessings to you all. I know that a statement I teach my church is God will find a way where there seems to be no way. God will provide the way for you.

  10. Pam says:

    I don’t understand how our country and North Carolina, my home state that I used to be so proud of, have come to this. It’s just not right. There can be no good reason for this. Thank you for caring about the hungry and for your good work to feed them. May God work through others who care about justice for the least of these to help you find a place and a way to continue to feed the poor as Jesus commanded. I hope there will be a great uproar as media and the public find out about this disgraceful action of not allowing you to help others. May God bless you in your work.

  11. Lenny says:

    Hey Selena…

    How about heading out to help them clean up. Easy to take potshots online but why don’t you get out there and help?

  12. cin says:

    It’s probably because of the constant homeless presence in that park that constantly verbally assault patrons to downtown areas & those that live there.

  13. Lori says:

    I will be sharing this on my fb page as requested. God Bless all of you for trying to help those less fortunate! Good luck!!

  14. Arlis Mitchell says:

    This is very sad. I attend a church in Hillsboro, Oregon. They have a “clothes closet” where people can come for needed clothes. ‘They have a “Winter Shelter” for the homeless for 3 months (Dec. Jan. &Feb) they open at 5 each evening with a meal. showers and beds are available, breakfast is served and they must leave the church until 5 PM again for dinner. They give out needed food one day a week. They have a “Light My Way” service on Sunday evening specifically for people who have been released recently from incarceration. (no one under 18 can be on the property for that service). Our city works with us. One day a year we set up a day with free haircuts, pet care, dentists, doctors, flu shots, food, clothes. I cannot understand why your city would not love what you are doing. I will pray for a change of heart.

  15. Ethan Powell says:

    Hi there, i see your plight and one thought came to mind was the YMCA Alexander location. I know it’s not downtown directly but it is Hillsborough st. and i work for them. Not sure of the red tape but never know unless you ask. God Bless.

  16. Jamie Escobedo says:

    Cin, have you ever gone into the park and sat down with one of “these” people and actually talked to them? I have, bunches of times and have enjoyed it every time. The stories they can and will tell you are amazing, funny, sad, and sometimes down right cruel but each time I’ve done it, I have got someone to laugh with me or cry with me and always got a thank you for just listening. Remember “these” people are human too and have hearts and souls just like we all do. Try it one day, I promise you will come back enlightened.

  17. Traci says:

    I keep hearing people speaking out against feeding the poor because it “enables” them or it keeps them loitering in the park verbally harassing or assaulting the good citizens who pass by. This is BS. I have spent plenty of time in Moore’s Square Park and have never been verbally harassed or assaulted by anyone there. Yes. Homeless folks hang out in the park (they have no home you know…) From what I have seen they sit around talking to one another, passing time. If they litter, give them citations. Don’t blame the organizations trying to feed people. Don’t punish all of the folks who come out for food by prohibiting these organizations from feeding people. God forbid you or your family ended up poor and hungry with no place to turn to.

  18. Kathleen says:

    I haven’t lived in NC for years, because I could not deal with the self-righteous “Christians” who are much more preoccupied with loudly judging what everyone is doing with their private bits than how we treat the people we were commanded to love and care for. Not that those people aren’t everywhere, but they seem to have taken over my beloved home state. Bless you for your ministry, and thank you for holding the line. Homelessness and poverty are complex sociological problems that aren’t solvable in a blog comments section, but God did not command us to love only our non-homeless, non-addicted, non-mentally ill, recently showered, well-adjusted, non-criminal record having, employed, literate, well-spoken neighbors who have never made bad personal decisions. Love is a verb, and you are doing it. Thank you.

  19. Patrick says:

    I live in Raleigh, a few minutes drive from Moore’s Square. I walk through it once in a while. I’ve never been harassed by the homeless and I’ve never felt threatened or otherwise bothered by them. They’re just trying to live their lives, just like anyone else.

    By the way, as a Raleigh resident and taxpayer, I am ashamed that my city is doing this. It makes me sick. It’s morally wrong.

  20. GAT says:

    This a disturbing turn of events. I am curious if any consideration was given to subjecting yourselves to arrest as the consequence of resisting an unjust and immoral law.

  21. Julie says:

    I do not share your path as a Christian, however it sickens me that we waste enough food everyday on the country to feed a small nation and yet we tolerate our poorest going hungry. It humbles me that you would go to an extended effort to offer people a hand up in a time of need. We need more people doing that. Far too many care more about their lifestyle and convenience than for their suffering brothers and sisters.

  22. Sandra says:

    I agree that you need to take a tack that doesn’t look like you agree with the police.

    Call WRAL-TV. That station, along with MIX 101.5, used to be owned and run by a Christian man who was serious about his faith (at least, that was the case when I lived in Raleigh and my then-boyfriend worked for that company). Maybe you can get reporters to cover the story in advance of trying this again next weekend. My guess is that the mayor and the chief of police are not going to want to have to defend police running you out of a park in a little-used area to feed hungry people. The big question is–how can anyone serve the Lord if the city requires $800 a day for a permit to do it?

    Please keep us posted.

  23. Michael Logan says:

    Try Tapestry an out reach of North Raleigh Nazarene

  24. Joshua Woodall says:

    Have you tried approaching the downtown churches about using their parking lots on Saturday and after church services are ended on Sunday? Some of the ones you should contact are Edenton St. United Methodist, First Baptist, The Church of the Good Shepherd, Christ Church Raleigh, Treasuring Christ, Vintage Church, Cathedral Sacred Heart, St. Paul AME, and First Presbyterian. Also see if you can use the Salvation Army Community Center parking lot or even see if any of the soup kitchens would be willing to open its doors so long as this ministry provides the staffing to feed and clean the facilities. I hope this helps!

    Cin, your comment about the homeless saddens me. They are people just like you and me that have fallen on hard times due to a broken world, sometimes because they are broken people themselves. They should receive our mercy, love, and help…not judgment or attempts by others to sweep them under a rug like they second class citizens or not even human at all. I would be willing to bet if you became homeless due to an unforeseen circumstance you would wish others to treat you with the respect and dignity that you deserve as a human being and not treating you like trash that needs to be cleaned up or a plague that needs to be wiped out. Any verbal assaults that may occur (I have never experienced any in the 13 years of living in Raleigh), is less because they are horrible people but due to the horrific way they are treated by our society at large. It would be great if Raleigh worked aggressively with non-profits to develop a thriving relief and assistance program that worked on meeting the basic needs for the homeless and working with them to bring them off the streets back to a normal life.

  25. Cassie Shoemake says:

    So it seems as thou the homelessness has to suffer because of certain individuals who doesn’t want to take the time to help out with anything. It seems like so many people just want to rant, rave, and bitch about what the homelessness does. Are u showing any love to the homeless? Nope not at all, but Love Wins Ministries does. If it wasn’t for Love Wins Ministries, people wouldn’t have food in there mouth. This could be the only meal that the homelessness can get ALL weekend long. Until u have walked in the shoes of a homeless person, then keep ur mouth close and stop discrimating us. Just because we are homeless, doesn’t make us bad individuals. Homelessness comes into different ways. Talk to the homeless, see where they stand in life, show us some love, comfort, and support. Don’t shut us out the door cause the city don’t like the homelessness. One day this could be u begging for food and nobody gonna help out, only cause u didn’t try to help us out first. Thank you very much.

  26. David Brenchley says:

    So disheartening …
    Heartless people complain to the authorities … and the authorities wish to eliminate the “blight” … it’s not only Raleigh .. but other area communities as well .. e.g. requiring permits for the homeless to panhandle etc.
    Your ministries in my prayers and I will write the authorities you note .. but my trust is in prayer ..

  27. Denise Yon says:

    I am not shocked, Raleigh NC is turning into a place I am ashamed to call home. If I lived in downtown, I would allow you to serve from my home and dare anybody to stop us. I have inquired at my church and intend on handing the Pastor a copy of this article in the morning. God Bless and don’t let the devil’s stop you!

  28. Theresa Godfrey says:

    I have heard that they plan to move the homeless and shelters to the outskirts, because homelessness is an eyesore for the city. With everything else going on here its not hard to believe, so it would make sense that if you build a place to feed the poor, they will come and now the strategy is you will be arrested. If this works the homeless will not be downtown.

  29. RLCassidy says:

    There are no words, only tears.

    I will definitely call the lawmakers Monday. Until then, I join in your prayers.

  30. Todd says:

    I cannot decide who is more distasteful: those who forbid good people from doing God’s work, or those who demean our fellow human beings as “dirty” or “those people.” For those trying to do good, I will contact the powers-that-be regarding this situation. For those lacking empathy for the less fortunate or homeless, please seek mental/spiritual help for yourself: unless you plan to die young, someday you WILL need a helping hand!

  31. Penny Hoprich says:

    I can remember a few times when I was a child that my family would either be homeless or in need of food. I’m so thankful we weren’t treated in this way or I might not be here today. May God have mercy on, not only or state, but our country.

  32. jay russel says:

    Just put the food next to the trash. It’s not illegal to do that and the police can’t stop the homeless from grabbing the food and disbursing it amongst themselves….

  33. paul balducci says:

    why not just leave it somewhere and go away. you can not control who picks it up.

  34. Brooke says:

    I second getting into contact with WRAL or any other Raleigh news station. The fact that it’s a local story will definitely heighten it’s priority among the public and as a Media Studies student myself, I think any news station would be quick to pick this up. I live in Greensboro right now as I’m attending UNCG but I’m originally from Raleigh so the fact this is happening in my hometown really saddens me.

  35. Renee says:

    Maybe you can start a petition on Change.org and get enough support to change this!! I don’t know if it will help. But it has helped many causes

  36. Rosie Price says:

    Right in the Bible belt.
    That’s adorable Raleigh.
    So cute.

  37. Connie B, Washburn says:

    That is ridiculous…have any of the police ever been homeless or hungry. Not giving you a definite reason is really no reason..If you have to move somewhere, a lot of people may not be able to go to another spot that is as convenient..I have never heard of any trouble when this was done..the Youth at our church took sandwiches several times in the past..if there is a policy, they should have had a copy of it to give you and put it in the paper or on the news to warn helpful groups.. hope there is a solution to this soon…

  38. Debbie says:

    I read the article and felt very sad that this has happen, especially since your ministry has been doing this for 6 years. I do not live in Raleigh, but I have family that live in Apex. Also my brother-in-law was the Director of the Raleigh Rescue Mission. He is retired now, but I’m sure they would help in providing a location. I also think that the local paper and TV station could help by exposing this to the public. I pray that a good outcome will soon happen. God bless you!

  39. Eddie Walsh says:

    Vintage 21 (church )has a small parking lot downtown they might be able to help you for a venue

  40. Jill V says:

    I will be happy to get arrested for feeding the homeless. Just call me.

  41. Roger Wolsey says:

    As a Christian, I would contend that this is a violation of my religious freedom. I’d fight this if it happened in the city I live in. I hope the Christian folks in Raleigh fight that ordinance there. – author, Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity

  42. Heather says:

    What about the Unitarian Church across the street? They are a very kind congregation that supports the well being of all.

  43. Caitlin says:

    Consider contacting the pastor, Sean Cordell at treasuring Christ church. They are moving to the old YWCA building and deeply care about the people of downtown Raleigh. I am sure Vintage would also want to help.

  44. Therese Robert says:

    there is always a nonsense that comes up like magic ! if i were you i would organize something at a church and if they show up again you just say you invited friends after church for a picnic . I really doubt they will have a law against church feeding friends of God .
    Good luck !

  45. Chantal Caron says:

    What about the Unity Church property on the northeast edge of Moore Square?
    Or what about the private parking lots in the neighborhood? A lot of them seem pretty empty weekend mornings

  46. Jessie Lynch says:

    This is crazy I pray for all the homeless and ask God to fix this situation

  47. Jsali says:

    Could you guys just partner with a church that is close to where you were handing out these biscuits and have signs posted outside of the church inviting the folks that are hungry in for a free biscuit? There shouldn’t be a law against that.

  48. 1st, I am not a Christian. BUT, I totally support what you are doing and what you have done in the past. Love conquers hate every time. Advice 1) Get the press involved. 2) Get arrested — as many as you can. 3) Take the city to court. 4) Keep fighting, don’t back down, and don’t take “no” for an answer.

  49. Ken says:

    Wake County, is responsible by Legislative action for coordinating homeless programs through the Human Services Department. Wake County receives State and federal funding to undertake this service. Over the years Wake County Commissioners have gradually cut services & programs including weekend meals at the South Wilmington Street mens shelter, services at the Cornerstone facility just west of downtown which was originally established to be a “One Stop Shop” to help and do outreach to find and help homeless persons living on the streets and connect them with the services they need is but a shell of its originally intended range of uses. Dont let the Wake County Human Services Department and Wake County Commissioners off the hook. Meals at Moore Square however important are a small component of the plague that homelessness is on community

  50. David Bridgman says:

    Did they tell you what law you were breaking? What was the cop’s name? You might have just hit a rookie green cop on a power trip who didn’t know the law. Ask them for the specific ordinance or statute you were violating if they try this again and DO NOT accept “you have to leave or you will be arrested” as an answer. You have a right to know what law you are violating before some power tripping cop bosses you around for no legal reason.

  51. Tammy says:

    We have done this in our community for over 5 years. When we had someone tell us we could not stand on a corner and simply pray for people, we went to our mayor’s office and asked to be shown the law that said we couldn’t. He acquiesced and said there was no problem. We have also fed people every Sunday morning, so I know how devastating this would be if our law enforcement suddenly opposed. And I would do the same thing, go to the courthouse and ask to see the laws we were breaking. The big thing here is that they just want the homeless to disappear. Jesus said that the poor will always be with us. So we feed them. Keep rockin’ on, guys!

  52. Ted Rich says:

    What did Jesus do for the hungry, sick and in need. Jesus fed the hungry healed the sick and raised the dead and the very ones he did all this for said kill him because he said he is the son of God. Jesus told his followers they would be persecuted for doing good as he was but we were not to loose faith for in the end times people would be lovers of self and haters of righteousness. We are I am sad to say living in a time where right is wrong and wrong is right. People would rather believe lie and follow that lie than to be bothered the truth. It has been said the truth will set you free or get you a fat lip. I am and will be praying that God will intervene in matters like this and the need will be met. After all he know how to feed five thousand with two fish and one piece of bread. God will make a way when there seems to be no way. Our prayers are with the homeless and the hungry.

  53. “When the Law of Love conflicts with the Law of Man, we must break the Law of Man because we must not break the Law of Love.” ~Pancho Ramos Stierle

    As has been pointed out by others, 1)the real crime is the amount of food that ends up in the landfill, and 2)you can engage in civil disobedience with love in your heart, which is more than Jesus managed with the money-changers!

  54. Mark says:

    The time has come for Civil Disobedience!!
    The people should have been fed forcing the officers to arrest masses of
    people to be arrested. Then the courts will throw them out or require
    “public service hours” at the most and will not give the people a record….this is what has happened with the Moral Monday NAACP groups in Raleigh recently and other groups. Eventually the law will be changed but people have to stand up.

  55. Eric Paris says:

    What would our forefathers think? Can you believe this?! Tens of thousands of lives have been given to keep this country free, but now even the good are punished as criminals. Absolutely ridiculous.
    I WILL be emailing immediately…and will try my best to retain a controlled temper!

  56. Guy Tanzer says:

    The question really is: what law or ordinance was being broken? That is a question that could quite validly been asked of the police, since there was no violence in evidence and they did have the time to talk. Sure, they can still arrest you if you went and distributed the food, but they do sort of need to be able to explain to a judge what law or city ordinance was being broken, or it’s false arrest and maybe a few other nasty things besides. All complaints and/or queries to the Mayor and City Council need to request a clear answer with specific details – NC G.S. number or a specific City ordinance that can be shown to have been on the books as of August 24, 2013. If no such laws or ordinances exist what they did was in fact likely illegal. Did anyone perchance get the RPD officers’ badge numbers or names? Has anyone contacted WRAL-TV or the N&O?

  57. Jarid Moon says:

    North Carolina Republicans HATE the poor. Doing this will help END the existence of any poor persons in North Carolina. It is very sad that many of the followers of Republicans that are in control of state government are followers of Jesus Christ, but the people they vote for to run their states and towns are far from exhibiting Christ like themselves .

  58. JOHN SZALECKI says:

    Selena, shame on you, and shame on the city. An ordinance to disallow feeding of homeless people on public property or sidewalks and enforcing it after 6 years? Disgraceful. Cin, shame on you too.

  59. Heathen Sympathizer says:

    I’m not a Christian by any means, but I do think it’s insane that citizens are not allowed to help those less fortunate because somebody on the City Council decided that s/he didn’t like the idea of the homeless possibly getting their poor all over him/her.

    Just appalling. I will be contacting the City Council ASAP.

  60. Susan says:

    I’m very concerned that the officer arrogantly said: “I’m not going to debate with you.” That’s a typical condescending tone that many police officers take when their actions are questioned. Your actions were not criminal and you did not deserve such dehumanizing treatment. Doesn’t a citizen deserve to know why he would be arrested? Doesn’t an officer have to know what ordinance is being violated so he knows why he is arresting someone? This amounts to bullying a respectful citizen and this behavior by the police department needs to be publicized. I like two ideas posted here: (1) bring a reporter next time and (2) if litter is a problem, bring trash cans or ask the police to cite the litterers. No reason to punish those who are respectful of public property and deny them access to food. There is also no reason to enable police intimidation by relocating to a place less convenient for the hungry. With all the budget cuts facing public servants, those police officers are probably just four paychecks away from homelessness themselves.

  61. Patricia Joy says:

    Selena I do wish you’d read the article properly. They said they always clean up after. I have done similar work in Kyiv and although we have had the police approach us and tell us not to give money, they have never stopped us feeding or, in some cases, clothing the homeless living on the street.

    What the heck in happening in America when they send millions to countries and the governments mostly keep the money themselves, but don’t allow their own poor and homeless to be fed.

  62. Anne says:

    Downtown Raleigh I assume are a few Churches …
    God lives in every Church …
    That should be the Answer …
    Thank You very much for your beautiful Acting !!!

  63. Gail Anderson says:

    WHY WHY are these cops being so god dam mean??? Did they use their money, no they didn’t. Why on earth if someone is willing to give another a cup of coffee and a biscuit sandwich do you care?? They are not breaking any laws or hurting anyone, Dear Christ in heaven what is this country coming to?? It gets worse by the day and it is the repukes that are doing it. We know they wouldn’t share a bread stick with anyone as they are all so selfish and self=centered. This is a dam SIN and they will get their payback.

  64. Susan M. says:

    While I can in no way, shape, or form, ever support your religion, I do wholeheartedly support what you are doing for the homeless. Every little bit helps. It is shameful the way the city is treating people who only want to provide for one of the basic needs that the homeless have. Homeless people are victims of a horrendous, evil, corrupt, sick, and malevolent, system. It is NOT the homeless that needs to be fixed, it is the system which needs to be replaced with a more evolved, more altruistic, more compassionate, and less profit driven one. The city’s behavior is just another example of blaming the victim for society’s crimes. It is reprehensible.

  65. matt says:

    I know this is the Bible belt, but shouldn’t this be less about Christianity and more about being a good person and helping those around you? The principle is correct…to feed the hungry and give people a chance and hope. The goverment is not allowed to make a Christian decision, so if everyone makes this a battle over what God wants the mayor and PD to do, this case will be lost.

    I know making this a post about a church’s work and doing a Christian deed makes this more apt to upset people and more of a marketable story to social media fiends…but this is not a religious topic. It is a topic of right and wrong that any rational, decent human being can get behind, including a non-believer such as myself.

    I’m no longer in Raleigh but wish for a positive resolution to the issue as there’s seemingly nothing wrong with feeding the hungy downtown. I just hope this doesn’t have to turn into a church vs. State issue because it seems that there are plenty of possible solutions to this problem, none of which have to do with the religious beliefs of our legislators.

  66. GLKing says:

    This sickens me that those who are sworn to protect and serve have chosen not to.

    Not to question your beliefs, as we can see they are strong and compassionate, but you say that you would not hand out food so as to avoid going to jail. How many times did the Priests and Guards arrest Jesus because he would not follow their whims? If you truely want to put them on the spot then feed the people. Have them arrest you in front of God and witness. They only have so many hours to either file charges or release you. And if they DO file charges they have to provide what charges are being filed, how you broke them and the statutes your action violated.

    I’m sure you have been contacted by many Lawyers offering their assistance, Pro Bono.

  67. Charles Alston says:

    Perhaps there is an answer, Dr. ML King often went to jail for his beliefs. Go ahead and let the police arrest you for feeding the poor.
    And Raleigh already has a group, which is getting world wide recognition, The Moral Monday arrest group, led by the NAACP that may be just the thing to get the homeless problem onto everyone’s plate…
    And please remember, when the police show up like this, it’s never just a coincidence, there is a group going after power somewhere in the background.

  68. Chuck Morton says:

    I am not a religious person, and I do not feel called to minister to anyone, however – the world truly needs those who care enough to do what is right for their fellow humans. I would be perfectly willing to get arrested for this act of kindness. There is right, and there is wrong, and there is legal (which can be either). On this the cops are clearly wrong, even if some obscure ordinance allows them this tyranny.

    I would love to know what a good attorney knowledgeable in law and forceful in righteous argument could do in defense of this act of charitable civil disobedience.

    One practical question comes to mind – what happened to the day’s supply of sausage biscuits? Did they find their way to the empty bellies in the park through some subterfuge? Or did you pile them all on top of the nearest cop car and say “you tell them they can’t eat”?

  69. Maggie Gee says:

    I have visited this area as a tourist and loved every minute of my stay there, however I was never troubled by ‘homeless’ or ‘hungry’ people. My trouble came from my conscience because I had and they had not. I’m not a religious person but do believe in an after life and a judgement on our day to day actions. I do believe you will be judged well for the work you are doing, and those who oppose you will be judged harshly. Have you thought of defying the Police State, feeding the poor, and standing your ground in court in front of 12 of your peers – do you think any jury in NC would find against you for feeding your (and their) poor and hungry people. There but for Grace go any one of us. x

  70. Heather Cureton says:

    Isn’t the Salvation Army 1 street over. They have a wide street entrance. Perhaps you could set up there if they would let you. Maybe ya’ll could work hand in hand…. Will repost.

  71. Mark Barnes says:

    Crazy world we live in, when we care more about how we look to the outside world than we do about loving and caring for one another. I am from England and from that perspective Rayleigh is not looking like an attractive place to live in or somewhere I would like to visit. A town or city is made attractive by the people that live there, not by how clean they keep their parks.

  72. Debra Arrington says:

    This is not progress for Raleigh. This is regression.

  73. John Clapton says:

    What about using a semi-public place like a scout hall or a church hall? Surely a church would allow you to avoid county by-laws that are so unjust.

  74. URIEL says:

    Think about this……….This whole gambit is a well planned problem,reaction, solution formula orchestrated by the city to create another means of cruelly and unjustly obtaining control and steady funds by using the homeless and the scenario to extort the local churches with having to pay out more moneys to allow the homeless to be fed and the permit charges actually tally more than the costs incurred to provide the food and service’s!!! IT’S INHUMANE, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, GREEDY AND EVIL!!! Don’t just see the curve but the road ahead as well! Of course the city knows it’s wrong and most people as well as church’s will not stand quietly by and allow this. More or less they know it will become a race to see whom will stroke the first check! Reaction…..expected and anticipated!! So there ya go and as well the lasting solution. ABSOLUTE EXTORTION!! Kinda like a mad man standing on a rail road track with a train coming with a kitten in one hand a gun in the other, auctioning off that said kitten in front of a crowd to the highest bidder right before the train gets there or promising to throw it at the train. Sick!!! They know the moneys coming however and once the idea’s accepted they’ll just keep pushing up the price of the ability and permission to be caring, loving and kind, Until the situation is raised way to high to obtain. And there again another god given human being, American right eroded by a system of problem, reaction, solution!!!! Slight of hand that works every time. It’s the recipe that’s got us in the mess world wide that were faced with in a billion ways and angels on issues everyday. And it’s getting worse and worse by the minute of the days ahead! I plead with every soul out there to please search your life and the world going on around you and know and understand, these ARE the end of times. Get right with your maker and prepare your self as a soul for judgement. No matter what your worldly title or position may be it will make no matter nor difference it what stands before us in the short time ahead. ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE YOU>>>>>>>>>>>Ohhhhhhhhh>>>>>>>>AND HE WILL, HE WILL!!!!!! GOD BLESS THOSE WHOM ARE OUT THERE AND ALL THEY HAVE LEFT IS LOVE AND FAITH……. IN GODS EYES……THAT’S ALL THEY NEED!!!!! AND THOSE OF YE WHOM STAND IN THE WAY OF GODS WILL, BE VERY CAREFUL OF WHOM YOU DEPRIVE FOR YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU ARE BEING ENTERTAINED BY ANGELS. HELL HAVE NO FURY LIKE THE WRATH OF GOD OF THE ABOVE!!!!!!!!!! ~AMEN~

  75. Sheri says:

    For right now, I suggest you find individuals from the churches to prepare or purchase a biscuit and coffee for one homeless person. Each individual and the homeless person should be given a cross street to come meet and share a quick bite. Or this can happen in the park at one time at various locations all over the park. The idea is to simply have too many people feeding the homeless to catch them all. The media should be invited.

  76. Lamonda says:

    Bless you, bless you, bless you for all that you have done and all that you are trying to do. Reposting.

  77. Kevin Taylor says:

    Start doing it in front of the Governor’s mansion. I realize this is more of a local issue but the media attention would increase. good luck

  78. Jake says:

    Raleigh police: solving murders may be beyond their abilities, but by God they can certainly make sure the homeless aren’t fed.

  79. Karen says:

    What is happening to my hometown? I used to live in a place that celebrated desegregation (by the time I came along) was a quasi-liberal haven in an ultra-conservative –and backwards–bible belt. At the very least, Raleigh was a place where the “thinkers” prevailed. One would think that the number of northern transplants would have broadened the worldview even more. But having moved north I see that what they have brought with them is a mentality of gentrification and segregation, as, unfortunately, the civil rights movement never actually happened here. Sad.

  80. Becky says:

    Arrested for what? Disturbing the Peace? Resisting Arrest? This is so sad.

    I hope and pray find an even Better location. (more people to feed and more help) Lesson: Regulations ruin a lot. Government is not always the answer.

  81. Scottdickinson says:

    Sharon Hayes would be the contact person at St Saviors if anyone is interested. I’m sure we could find a downtown church near the park that would be happy to open their parking lot to this endeavor.

  82. yowie9644 says:

    Perhaps I don’t “get it”, being an Aussie & all, but surely, SURELY, you can’t be arrested for a crime that does not exist. If the police cannot tell you what you will charged for if you feed the homeless, then perhaps all of you – every single member of all the churches in that program – need to get down to that park and have a picnic. And invite their friends. And anyone else that might want to happen to tag along – like the homeless folks. Because surely it cannot be illegal to eat in that park. And surely it cannot be illegal to share your food with your friends whilst eating in that park. So have many folks share their food with many people. Share your food as individuals, rather than “feeding the homeless” as a “program”.

    Having faith you’ll find a way, even if its not this one.

  83. Michael D says:

    Letter sent – it’s our church’s turn next weekend.

    For anyone who wants the US to be a Christian nation, feeding the hungry should be more important than posting 10 Commandments on a courthouse wall.

  84. John Salmon says:

    I wonder what City of Raleigh Ordinance/NC General Statute the police officer was going to enforce? It is easy to say because I was not there at the time, but I think I would have called his bluff. Peaceful, civil disobedience makes the news, the charge(s) would have been dropped and the issue of feeding the homeless would have been highlighted.

  85. David McMillan says:

    I notice some discussion about the bad manners of the beneficiaries being responsible for the city’s efforts to stop the dispersal of food. True the homeless can have an attitude and some have mental health problem that cause them to strike out at people. However, not helping them will compound the problem, causing more to have an attitude about their fellow humans lack of compassion. As a member of a team of homeless men, after my divorce, that built shelters with church funding that helped thousands of men, women, and children get back on their feet, I know LOVE works. The homeless aren’t going anywhere because they can’t afford to move on, so stealing will be the next alternative. Jail will be the result. With less likelihood of them getting a job to support themselves. Oh and if you still think your not one of the unfortunate, drugged out, incompetent losers as the fortunate tend to believe about homeless (untrue), ASK YOURSELF WHAT YOU WOULD DO IF YOUR HOME BURNS DOWN TODAY? Insurance companies move slow and try not to payout. You may have lost your wallet and ID info to the fire, as well as your automobile. You can lose everything that makes you who you are in America’s society in a heartbeat. Now you need to START the process of becoming legit citizen by sending off for your birth certificate. That takes a couple of weeks. You’ll be hungry by the time you receive it so you can get an ID to go to the bank with to get your money. Getting the picture? It can happen to you. I meet the men, women and children you are trying to starve out. It’s you, yourself that you’re being hateful to by not helping.

  86. Walter Stockhecker says:

    Have 50 different people pass out two sandwiches each. Do not let them know who the leadership is. Make them arrest and process ALL of you. If they don’t arrest ALL of you, file a discrimination claim.

  87. Rebecca Hayes says:

    This is ridiculous! I will gladly contact these “officials” wh have an obviously perverted agenda!

  88. Angie says:

    Why didn’t you let them arrest you? A lost opportunity to stand up for those you serve.

  89. Tom says:

    My first thought was WRAL as well. I’m not sure that this would count as a “5 On Your Side” story, considering this is more of a religious issue than a consumer issue. But WRAL always seems to do a good job knocking on doors and getting answers.

    • David Brenchley says:

      Is it really a religious issue? Sure a church is involved, Christ commands we feed the hungry … but if we were to set that aside … should a government ordinance (if one exists) trump a act of basic human kindness, particularity when the same government fails to provide a means to meet that need?

  90. We have gone to Moore Square many times…as a youth group as well as a family, passing out water bottles and ice pops on very, very hot days. The people are amazing and it was humbling experience for all involved. I pray for you, your agency as well as all those hungry everywhere.

  91. OriginallyfromNC says:

    I was told this same thing 15 years ago. I was taking food every Friday evening and after 3 months of doing so was asked to stop or I would be arrested. With the research that I did I was told that it took people out of needing the shelters and the shelters were the best thing for them to take care of violence between the homeless at night. Good luck with your efforts.

  92. Evette hunt says:

    This is so sad.some of us..including rpd are just a paycheck from being hungry and homeless..what is raleigh becoming..and people wanna keep moving to a city that hides behind their fine condos and ritzy neighborhoods and sleep comfy while our other neighbors are outside and hungry! I pray you find a place soon..I see you all down there all the time..remain faithful..you labor not in vain!

  93. Mary Derks Dellinger says:

    I’m sure the people who made this rule (do not feed the homeless) do not hesitate to use the Bible to further their own agendas. Hypocrites.
    Thank you for trying to do the right thing.

  94. D-turbed says:

    If the police can’t tell you what you were charged with then you should have served the food!! I would ask for a volunteer attorney to help with the feeding. Let him be the representation when questioned by the POLICE. They don’t make the Rules….They must state what you are doing that is going to get you in “Jail” Seems like the perfect protest “Sausage Biscuit Saturday” Make the NEWS good that yall are feeding the HUNGRY!!!!

  95. Cindy says:

    I CALLED! I encouraged everyone as outraged as I am to PICK UP THE PHONE!!!

  96. Michael says:

    Always get the media involved. They’ll put the camera on the person responsible for this action. Then you simply remove him or her from office or all of them.

  97. This is our nice government, that won’t let you give the poor a biscuit and coffee, it’s time the people stood together, they can’t lock everyone up. Did you get the cops name? Have you tried talking to the higher ups to try to find out the reason they did this after 6 yrs. Good luck and God Bless.

  98. Jim Webb says:

    This sad and confusing. I suspect that the chamber of commerce, at the request of local businesses, want drive the homeless out of that area. They have a lot of pull on the council. Publicity may be the best way to help people see what is going on and get this moving in the right direction

  99. Sara Acosta Sara Acosta says:

    We are so grateful for all the emails, texts, blog comments and Facebook messages! Please understand if it takes us a while to get back to you – we are a very small non-profit with, apparently, lots of friends.

    Thank you for continuing to share our story, and if you pray, pray for our friends who live outside, but have no food today because of the actions of the City of Raleigh.

  100. Virginia Hernandez says:

    Why don’t you do an online petition so we can all sign .?i believe the page that helps you do this is Causes.

  101. Vicky Greene says:

    I am very disappointed with the negative turning point North Carolina is taking. The middle class and the poor are not being considered as citizens of this state anymore. What harm is being done by feeding the homeless? They exist rather you want them to or not. Maybe your wish is for the middle class and poor class to disappear? Well, they will always exist. It should be in your best interest to want them to exist at there best. Taking food and other resources from people only makes them turn to drastic measures to survive. Please reconsider all the changes you are making for ate state because it doesn’t represent our people at all. Thanks!

  102. FedUp Raleigh says:

    Here is the email to the police chief as we’ll


  103. Victoria Caylor says:

    Here’s a solution to keep everyone out of jail and still accomplish your mission (which, by the way, I wish more would follow this fine example of love):

    Arrange volunteers from the churches to pick up the clients in church and church member vehicles and take them back to the church venue to feed them.

    Secondly, find out which city governmental officials are spearheading the destruction of your program and make sure the whole community knows about it. Voters tend to remember things like this at election time!

  104. D Smith says:

    Let’s organize a “feed the hungry” Saturday. If they arrest 100 or so volunteers it would make national news which would draw attention to this backwards city. Can you imagine the headlines, “100 people arrested feeding the homeless”.

  105. Kerri says:

    Feed them anyway. The police officer absolutely cannot arrest you for handing out food. That is not a crime. How about just walking up and down the street and hand them out instead of the homeless people coming to you at a specific location? IF you get arrested (you won’t), then hire an attorney to take care if the charges. What DA or judge in his or her right mind would not dismiss that charge, whatever it may be?

  106. M king says:

    A Place at the Table:
    Prohibitions on Sharing Food with People Experiencing Homelessness
    A Report by
    The National Coalition for the Homeless
    The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
    July 2010
    Praying that Love does Win!

  107. Pam says:

    The City of Miami passed an ordinance several years ago making it illegal to feed out in public, even in a church parking lot – citing food safety. So this has been happening at churches every where.

    My suggestion to bypass this until you can perhaps get the city to change it’s position: If you bring 70 sandwiches and 70 cups of coffee – bring 140, and 140 volunteers. Each volunteer has a sack with two each and pairs up with a homeless person. They start walking away across the park, through the neighborhood in twos and fours. They then stop and eat their shared breakfast. Bring the media, invite them to partner with a hungry person. Unless there is an ordinance against eating in the park then you are golden. It is an individual eating with one other individual – one friend/brother sister in Christ, sharing their meal with another.

  108. Marvin says:

    My first question or thought is, if you really wanna help the homeless, is to help them find a home! Help them find a job and a home, to get stability in their lives. Or is just throwing food at them every weekend your feel0good, “I did my part” thing? If you really wish to help, roll your sleeves up and get more involved than just giving them one or two meals.

  109. Celestine says:

    This is just not right,never heard that u can’t give some one food,and u not feeding me,what r they suppose to do?bad enough they are homeless,but they have to be hungry to,not understanding.after 6 yrs.of no problems same spot ever Sat. No body informed the church before head,u can’t stop God’s work!

  110. jill says:

    Very, very sad. If they would get their cocky heads out of their butts long enough to realize what a good deed these peole were doing maybe they could help feed the homeless instead of contributing to the problem.

  111. Lisa says:

    Why is this not covered in the News & Observer or WRAL.com?

  112. Evan says:

    Sounds suspiciously like some “good ol boy” just decided he didn’t want this happening anymore, and called one one of his friends in RPD. No legal basis required.

  113. Jaime says:

    This is a joke…. Really…. A church can’t feed the homeless….
    What next…. We will not be able to feed hungry children in our schools….
    Come on and quit being such a democrate and liberal community and stand up for what is right in God’s word… He is the one and only one we all will have to answer to at the end… This world is burning with Hell’s Fire just as fast as it can.. This is a sad story and I’m glad I don’t live in Raleigh…

  114. Barbara Yelvington says:

    God Bless you for what you are doing. That breakfast probably means so much more to those that you are feeding. You provide Hope, Friendship, Love and Caring, things many of the homeless do not have and need. Someone suggested passing them out in front of the Governor’s Mansion, maybe he will bring out a plate of cookies. This is just plain sad, my children have taken field trips to downtown Raleigh and they had picnic lunches at Moore Square Park, will that now be considered illegal. It is a public city park, for the use by the public. As long as you are not selling the food, you do not need a permit. There has to be one Lawyer in Raleigh reading this that would like to assist with stopping this outrageous treatment.

  115. Instead of bashing the police department, wouldn’t it make sense to move your operation to one of the downtown churches? There are several within a four or five block radius with restroom facilities and plenty of parking. This seems like a situation where good intentions conflict with the law because someone didn’t do the proper research before setting up shop.

  116. Dennis Pittman says:

    One possible workaround would be to have volunteers all bring coolers filled with your wears and have them sit in the park and share with those willing to sit down with them or will the RPD warn of ordinances barring tax paying citizens from simply enjoying a picnic in the park.

  117. Jennings says:

    I have sent a letter to Bonner Gaylord and included this link, and have asked my husband to contact a member of the local television media that he knows. This is absolutely crazy!

  118. tone says:

    Why you don’t try to partner with, and move the operation to, the South Wilmington Street Center? Many of the people you are serving already live there, or nearby.

  119. Tee says:

    I think the most effective way to bring about change here is through an act of civil disobedience. Invite the media to come down and witness as one after another member of your organization is arrested for handing a biscuit to a hungry person in need. Would the police then be willing to arrest everyone? If so, imagine how this would play in the media as churchgoers are led away in handcuffs. I can’t imagine there would be anyway that the DA would choose to prosecute, should they actually decide to arrest everyone. I CAN imagine that the law could be altered (if it even needs to be, as the officer could not site the ordinance being violated) after such a demonstration.

  120. Randall says:

    Interesting story; I did not read all of the comments. What u can do to stay in operation and to not break any local laws: obtain a no-longer used city bus either through public auction, a sales lot, or through donation of sorts. I picture a bus with a door in the front near the driver and a door toward the read or middle (city bus) to use as an entrance and exit respectively, creating a one-way line of needy and appreciative folks to receive food OFF THE STREET. Gut the bus of it’s seats, fill it with a row of tables, and u become completely mobile. Park the bus in public parking spots on the curb or any other suitable space. With this set up I do not know how you would be breaking any local laws, BUT, you should still ask more of your local city council to cooperate in your efforts despite their reluctance to do so.

  121. Jon says:

    I haven’t read through all the comments, but I’m assuming you’ve spoken to a lawyer (or have a lawyer within your church) that knows about the legality of what you do. Rather than having people calling hap haphazardly to request changes there should be a concerted effort to figure out what violation the officer is citing. Then we’ll know what specifically to challenge when calling our respective representatives.

  122. Frances Ann Johnson says:

    David, you say you are a follower of Jesus Christ…yes the Word of God does say feed the hungry, but it also says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding but in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths” In other words did God direct/tell “you” to do this or is it something that your own understanding/decided to do? The solution to your situation is prayer. Read Exekiel 36: 26-27 (KJV). Pray that a new heart will God give them and a new spirit will He put within them and He will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and He will give then a heart of flesh and He will put His spirit within them, and cause then to walk in His statutes and they shall keep His judgments and do them”. After you have prayed, wait to hear from God before approaching the powers that be. Once God gives you the go ahead, then approach the Powers that be with humility and the plan that you have asked God to give you and have received from God.

    I need to know if you received this. Get my telephone from your mom.

  123. Ben says:

    Before starting all this “call your city officials”, had the one who were stopped from feeding the homeless tried talking to the mayor or anybody in city hall? That might be a very good idea or a way to get this idea working on friendlier grounds with City Hall.

  124. John says:

    Elect conservatives and you get this kind of government. For the person who says this is not a Christian thing to do, it is just a good thing. This is the core of the teachings of Jesus. Unfortunately, many people who call themselves Christians perform so many despicable acts in the name of God that people turn away from Christ from seeing so many acts of hypocrisy. See what happens if fifty or one hundred of you go to jail for this. Keep up the good work.

  125. tim thomas says:

    i hope someone makes sure the police are right and try to fight this but i until this happens i would try to find churches around town and different location to open doors to feed the homeless and if the police even think they can bother you there watch the lord take this into his own hands…………..

  126. Michele Lessard says:

    I would go to all the local restaurants in that area…the ones who do NOT serve breakfast and ask if you can use their space to hand out the food…as a professional chef, I know where ever I was working I would allow this to take place in my restaurant or catering hall!

  127. Torie says:

    Does Raleigh Rescue Mission not do meals on the weekend? I thought they did?

  128. Danielle says:

    Found this in Raleigh’s ordinances online Sec. 9-2022. – PERMIT REQUIRED FOR CERTAIN USES OF PARKS: Distribution of food prohibited.
    No individuals or group shall serve or distribute meals or food of any kind in or on any City park or greenway unless such distribution is pursuant to a permit issued by the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Director.
    So sad that we are restricted from such a simple act of kindness by laws that are ultimately put in place to generate revenue for the government. Good luck moving forward & thank you for taking the time to look out for those that less fortunate.

  129. Carol Stefanski says:

    I’m sure the police are ashamed they must follow these orders. Odds are this was a direct order from the mayor to the chief of police. Because I don’t look at politicians with rose colored glasses, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out someone was paid off to block you from doing such a generous, Godly thing. It’s extremely sad the elected officials of your city feel it necessary to deny food to those less fortunate and American veterans who fought for them. It’s appalling these “officials”, who were elected to “serve”, find it necessary to abuse their power by heeping more tragedy on the less fortunate. I did enjoy the idea from the Aussie regarding regular Saturday and Sunday “picnics” and inviting all your “homeless” friends to join you. Where there is God’s will, there will be a way. Maybe, if all the churches in the program let the media know a “large” picnic was going to be held and all the homeless “friends” were being invited, it might bring more attention to how your program is being treated by the people they elected. God bless all of you.

  130. Jasmine Newsome says:

    This applies to every major city. It has nothing to do with them not wanting to help people, it is for safety reasons for the people you are trying to help. Everything isn’t a battle or war against our beliefs. The ill fortuned have died or become very sick from the good being administered outside. Some organizations have even been sued by the people they helped. All you have to do is get a clearance form from the city showing that you prepare and store the food in a safe manner like meal trucks have to do. Or you can go around it like they do in Greensboro, NC and have the individuals come to your church and feed them. Besides the homeless are always outside don’t you think they would want a chance to sit down and east inside at least once.

  131. Sonya says:

    I emailed the council members and the mayor. I am not happy about this at all. The officer was doing what he was told to do, by the council and/or mayor. This is not an issue of religion, this is basic kindness to other people for goodness sake!

  132. Tony Sutherland says:

    This kinda of shit has got to stop. The wealthy people running the government have no compassion.

  133. Scott says:

    The government is overstepping its bounds. Call the news media (preferable FOX) practice civil disobedience by showing up to give someone a sausage biscuit. Get arrested, have it on Hannity and watch the Raleigh police department run for cover.

  134. Cheryl says:

    Selena, above seems to have the free time to read this article and comment that “you” should ensure that the trash and litter are picked up and maybe then you won’t get into trouble. I would suggest with her spare time that “she” should volunteer to be part of the clean up crew. The homeless and sick are exhausted and trouble-worn. To look down her nose and expect them to be neatnicks when they don’t have enough food and shelter and compassion is an unrealistic expectation.

  135. Danielle says:

    Contact Information:
    919-996-3285 |
    Raleigh Municipal Building, 222 W. Hargett St. – 6th Floor
    Director: Diane Sauer

  136. Sarah Sprouse says:

    As someone who works in Government Relations I encourage you to add one thing to your post; ask people to include their full name and address when they contact council members so they can be identified as constituents and voters.

    That said, you are doing great work and I have encouraged others to join in this fight. God bless you.

  137. BK E. says:


  138. Patricia Wigington says:

    Hello there. There are vacant lot areas around Raleigh that maybe you could move the food give-out to. There is that little white building with the parking lot on South st as well as other parking areas not used during the weekend. Maybe even a church parking lot or even Moore Square school. I’m wondering if you could approach the food truck people to help distribute.

  139. Vickie Earp says:

    I will make it a point to email every person on the city council list.

    They should give a public apology and volunteer their time.

  140. Tina Havens says:

    Have you thought about investigating the local laws and finding out what ordnance you are breaking? You can check out the laws for your city online, or at your local library. The laws are public, and available to everyone.

  141. Danielle Campbell says:

    You say no soup kitchen or homeless shelter offers food on the weekends, but the Men’s and Women’s Healing Place of Wake County both serve breakfast and Dinner on weekends and a bed.

  142. Dan Gilvary says:

    Just remember Mr. Policeman. My favorite line from the movie Cool Hand Luke…..”Calling it your job don’t make it right boss.” And beyond this I would like clarification on the threatened arrest. Arrested for what???

  143. SF Reed says:

    Seems we need “Moral Saturdays” and “Moral Sundays” in addition to Moral Mondays. These could be organized to feed the hungry in defiance of stupid “laws” like this. Civil disobedience is in order–feed the hungry in defiance of a police order with no justifiable law behind it. Force the conversation into the courts and media. (We need to know, who is behind this? Why now?)

  144. Ralph Calhoun says:

    The tone of your reactions is so Biblical. I would have been angry and probably gotten myself arrested, with a feeling of righteous indignation. We will pray for you and the folks you serve. You are doing Christs work.

  145. Gregg from VA says:

    I’m just curious: The beneficiaries of this wonderful program- They don’t happen to be a majority of African-Americans, per chance? Because North Carolina is so well know for their progressive racial ideas, such as the new voter ID laws. No, I’m sure there is nothing like that behind this sudden change in enforcement.

  146. Nancy Steinhauer says:

    This is so wrong on so many levels!!! Shame on the leaders in Raleigh City Hall!!! I volunteer to feed the homeless in Atlantic City, N.J. And it is one of the most humbling, rewarding experiences I have ever done! I pray you find a solution! Perhaps a church will loan you their parking lot!! I hope those council members can look at themselves in the mirror! I couldn’t! Bet they call themselves Christians too!!! Shame, shame on you, Raleigh!!!! Many prayers and best wishes to be able to continue this very humane act!!

  147. Dianne says:

    Praying. And believing you will find a way. Praying for those who make the decisions that they will realize that to do good and to do right is always a better economical option for a city. Helping people does not attract more people who need help– helping people strengthens the community and provides hope.

  148. Lisa says:

    Such a sad story and I support your efforts on a subject that’s close to my heart. I will pray for you and for the people that you are helping and also for those that are trying to stop a good example of what The Lord wants us to do. Praying about it is really all you can do and The Lord will provide an answer.

    Deuteronomy 15:11
    For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command you, saying, you shall open your hand wide unto your brother, to your poor, and to your needy, in your land.

  149. Jamaul says:

    By law they have to tell you what law you are breaking before they arrest you. There is problem number one. Doesn’t your church have an attorney or at least one that is in your congregation ? How about a police officer that is in your congregation? Way I would do , is that I would go to the precinct that the park is closest to and tell someone what happened and then ask which law were you breaking? If its the fact that you have to have a permit there are ways around that legally. You could give your food away on your own property, for example at the church, or you drive to a location where you know the homeless will be and give it away there. I’m not in Raleigh but in Charlotte there are no permits for giving food away. If you sell food you need a permit but not to give it away. For example what the difference between what you are doing and what people do during tailgating at a game or when you have people get together for a picnic. Sounds like they are trying to make money off of you.

  150. Jason James says:

    They would’ve had to take me to jail. This is just another reason I have no respect for police officers or anyone in a position of authority. Since when is helping your fellow man a crime? North Carolina is really going to shit, and I’m damn glad that I left that state…

  151. Deborah Hall says:

    He should have handed out the sandwiches anyway! Being arrested for giving a man a biscuit would have caused a media frenzy (imagine the headline) and attracted good lawyers and made the police chief admit there was no such ordinance. The only reason behind the interference is that someone with money doesn’t want a bunch of homeless people hanging out in a downtown area on Saturday and Sunday. It’s bad for business. Hopefully, the police chief will find out that stopping the handouts is bad for his job.

  152. MKF says:

    You should blatantly break the law. If the people define the law, and you believe, as I do, that the people stand behind you then there is no error in your ways. Break the law and bring this to the attention of higher authorities and eventually the highest authority, Us.

  153. Prudence says:

    i would suggest, if you have not already done so, that you partner with a church whose proximity is near to the park that has served as your feeding center, for ease of the people arriving to get the food and beverage to walk to. you could then set up the feeding station in the church’s parking lot.
    ~ Look for The Divine Gift & Blessing within this situation ~

    prayer for the officers, Mayor and Town Council that their hearts may be opened to Love (as they are quite evidently closed by fear).

    Thank you for the living demonstration that you are, of Christ’s Love In Action.

  154. W Meadows says:


    Distribution of food prohibited.

    No individuals or group shall serve or distribute meals or food of any kind in or on any City park or greenway unless such distribution is pursuant to a permit issued by the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Director.

    While I don’t agree with stopping someone from trying to do something good I am just posting the ordinance that I found. I know you said you are on the sidewalk but do the homeless take the food into the park? Like I said, I’m not agreeing with the actions the police took and I believe there are certain exceptions to laws. This most definitely being one.

  155. Michael B says:

    North Carolina has lost its soul.

  156. Von Wer says:

    ” I was hungry and you fed me. ”

    I guess the government wants people to starve.

  157. Grace prevails says:

    What the devil means for harm, Jesus takes and makes for good!!! LOVE WINS is getting shared to soooo many people now that didn’t even know you exist! God will use this negative story to reach thousands! (Free advertising)!! Oh, rejoice guys! The right people at the right time are being brought forth to support your organization! Watch and see! The Lord is good!

  158. D Boutwell says:

    Matthew 25:31-45 calls us to help anyone we can. Romans 13:1-7 says we are to submit to governing authority. Doing both can be accomplished. Sadly I see not one person (including the author) has mentioned prayer. Pray God will prove faithful and provide a new location. Pray God will allow the continued use of the current location.

    You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” (Matthew 21:22 NLT)
    You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! (John 14:13, 14 NLT)

  159. Brenda Wilcox says:

    This angers me from every angle.
    I just sent the Mayor and every other email you provided this message…

    You are unAmerican if…

    …IF You do not do everything in your power to fix the problem of YOUR homeless being denied food.
    Do something important for humanity to deserve your title.
    Brenda Wilcox
    Fort Lauderdale, FL


    Sent from my iPhone

  160. Gail Anderson
    although I agree that the cops shouldnt be doing what their doing I think the food should be distributed at a church or somewhere that allows it..you say it is a sin…well so is taking Gods name in vain twice as you have. blashemy .

  161. Carole Schneider says:

    I have heard more than one conservative “Christian” politician say that communities should take care of each other, reducing the obligation of the government to take care of the poor. Isn’t that exactly what these folks are doing?

  162. Shyrob Winters says:

    Whoa, this is mind boggling to me. How can anyone turn away hungry people or even being the stoping force blocking God’s people from doing his duties? This World and the people in it amazes me everyday with some of the decisions we make and the orders we follow. Where is moral fabric, compassion, shared heartaches? Dear Heavenly Father, please get us where we need to be.

  163. John Brooks says:

    For some reason the map link you supplied will not pull rep per.my address. I will call the main person and find out but you may have more success getting people to call if u correct functionality. Just explaining, not complaining, so you can achieve your goal. Gotta go call now. Thx for information.

  164. Michelle Montgomery says:

    Is there a law against holding a birthday party in an area that does not require you to have a permit? If so why not make up invitations from paper inviting each person to the party leave a space open for them to place their name no line under it such a space where they can add their name and when you get approached just say they are guest to the party it is a celebration party to a new beginning . It is worth a try you don’t normally see cops crashing down a birthday party.

  165. JustTrueBlue says:

    You need a twitter share button on this article to make it easy to share on social media (as well as all the other share buttons, facebook, tumblr, Pinterest, reddit, etc… ) I have shared on @justtrueblue but had to open in safari and cut and paste the URL… Most people won’t take the time. Just hoping this goes viral for you. Best of luck for this wonderful and blessed cause.

  166. Stephanie willhelm says:

    Have you asked the chief of police or mayor what ordinance or law you are breaking? That is a very legitimate question that should be answered by someone.

  167. Bill Hand says:

    Have you contacted the press about this? I am certain they would get the word out. And there are law organizations whose purpose is to fight battles like this for Christian organizations.

    The ACLJ: http://aclj.org/

    Christian Legal Society: http://www.clsnet.org/center/about


  168. Laurence says:

    Here in the UK, if you’re arrested the arresting officer has to state clearly which law s/he thinks you’ve broken.

    My advice: get your lawyer to go with you and feed the hungry; if you’re arrested, you will have to charged and go to court. Assuming there _isn’t_ an actual “Homeless persons (prevention of feeding) Act”, they would have to go for something like obstruction or Public Nuisence. Go to court and plead Not Guilty. The chances of them winning are pretty much nil, they’d be dragged through the mire. get all the bad publicity, and cot a lot of money.

    More immediately, how about a hall belonging to one of the churches involved?

    Good luck and may God be with you!

  169. Ed Miller says:

    I would have fed them that anyone! I would have loved to see the judges reaction when they found out that the cops arrested you for helping Homeless individuals and providing them food! That is crazy! Helping this people is what Jesus and God would want!

  170. Rosemary says:

    I am really concerned about this, you are trying to do something that would help people that are homeless, I think you should call Channel 5, Channel 11, and Channel 14 because thru the media, that might help get things done.. That policeman acted like he just didnt give a damn, true that might have been his orders bu t he could have did it better, do you know his name, badge number> call the higher ups at CITY OF RALEIGH.

  171. W. Taylor says:

    I lived in Raleigh for 20 years… I could see issues with the way this act of compassion and generosity is carried out. I support what you’re doing. That said- I could see why local businesses, police dealing with traffic issues, and the city trying to be attractive to visitors- could take issue with the practice. If it has become an issue for whatever reason, why don’t the organizers work with the churches hey have partnered with? Why not have those churches open their doors and ACTIVELY invite those down on their luck in? I don’t know the number, but I know for a fact that there are multiple churches downtown. If you seek to give out to 100 homeless every week, why can’t these churches see fit to open 100 seats each weekend? Or just pass the food out just inside the church entrance. The answer is obvious, but people would rather take issue and be aggressive, rather than do the CHRISTIAN thing- turning the other cheek, and inviting your neighbor in.

  172. Matthew Jackson says:

    The law being broken is there to protect the homeless as well as you. In most locations it is illegal to disperse food without a commercial kitchen and a valid food license and inspection report posted.

    My advice, buy a food truck and make your own biscuits and coffee. You can get the truck licensed easily enough and if you give away food you prepare from it, you are merely giving away your profits. No crime, and you are within the law.

    The law is valid because there are crazy people out there who might hand out tainted food. The law is there to protect everyone involved. Having a commercial food license means you have insurance in the event someone gets food poisoning and dies. Therefore YOU are protected too. And the cops and city cannot make an exception because they would have to make many exceptions and to those they don’t make one for, the people would claim discrimination.

    I know it’s a bum deal for something so kind hearted, but a little common sense and not over reacting will go much further to solve this issue than everyone protesting.

  173. joe ortola says:

    i applaud you efforts to feed the hungry in your city and that you did not make assumptions and place blame for this unfortunate twist of events….i hope you come to some resolution with the city….

  174. Rob Jones says:

    I was going to say that this is unbelievable but it isn’t, it’s all too believable.

    It sounds to me, from a distance (I’m in the UK), like an attempt to sanitize the area. Would I be cynical in suspecting that there is a process of “gentrification” about to take place? Property (real estate) developers don’t like having their potential profits impacted by nasty inconveniences like homeless people. Some things are the same the world over.

    Don’t let “the powers that be” beat you. Follow your consciences and do what is right within your own means and capabilities. If that means that some of you get arrested, just wait for the firestorm that will surely follow such a stupid, outrageous abuse of power – you will be out of jail with an apology within hours, you mark my words. There may be things wrong with America but the people having no sense of justice doesn’t strike me as one of them.

    If they want to arrest you, surely you have a 6th amendment right “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation”. Surely they can’t just chuck you in a cell without telling you why?

    This might be a long shot but would you be covered by your 1st amendment right “peaceably to assemble”?

  175. Angelo says:

    I see the city council as attempting to keep the park area enjoyable for the producers in the business community.
    There is a Salvation Army and the Raleigh Rescue Mission one street over from the park.
    Love Wins Ministries needs to cooperate with those existing locations instead of trying to create another poverty outpost in the business district.

    Before you call me an a-s-s-h-o-l-e…. In 2002 I gave away all of my possessions and went to live in a Baltimore men’s homeless shelter where I not only depended on the food and shelter but I covered shifts to give the paid staff relief.
    The staff kept asking me why I didn’t take the director’s job opening, I told them I would fire most of them because it was just a job and not a passion for them.
    I only lasted two months — even though I busted my butt from 6am until midnight doing everything from
    shift coverage,
    covering weekends so staff could take off,
    admissions of new clients
    to supervising jobs.

  176. David Peterson says:

    Additionally, the Raleigh Rescue Mission is located at 314 E Hargett St Raleigh, NC 27601. There should be 0 (zero) people starving out there. For those of you that are angered by this article and would like to help, donations and volunteers are accepted. http://www.raleighrescue.org

  177. Webster Papajohn says:

    As with all things, I would like to hear a response from the opposite perspective. Feeding the homeless is a noble cause, there is no dispute in that. Would like to hear what Raleigh PD has to say.

  178. DBB says:

    I find it hilarious that people are telling you to just get arrested, ya know, since Jesus and MLK were arrested. Easier said than done to purposely break the law to face a fine, go to jail, and possibly lose employment, etc.

    But anyway, I think it’s great what you are doing for the homeless and I’m sure GOD will find a way for you to continue your work, legally, without having to go to jail to do it. GOD BLESS!

  179. Veteran of NC says:

    I am appalled at this the government is doing so little to help the homeless due to budgets and things of that sort. But you go and stop those who actually give a damn about society. Damn Shame

  180. Mike Parent says:

    What would Jesus have done, Officer?

  181. Thea Scott says:

    Emails sent to all on list.

  182. PIYA MOORE says:


  183. John Jay says:

    One option is to simply ask 70-100 church members from the various supporting congregations to come downtown and take a new friend to breakfast or lunch. Mass food distribution and a one-on-one lunch might be very different in the eyes of the law.

  184. AJ Calabrese says:

    The police behavior seems a little disingenuous given they pull up at Dunkin Donuts and are showered with donuts and coffee…

    Bless you for the good work you do. It will work out in the end. I know it will.

  185. Nancy says:

    My husband is an attorney. He suggested to me that you all find an attorney that will work with you and that he be present to request that the police explain which law you are breaking by giving away food and coffee. Then, if anyone is arrested, the attorney can represent you and really bring into the open, the basis for their arrests (if a legitimate basis for it actually exists).

  186. prefer not to says:

    I will discourage any and all from doing any business with Raleigh They want to play, fine with me. The $$$ they will lose from tourists should give at least one business person a hint. and as for the Mayor and minions, Pity you as you could be the very next one to fall into “Homeless’ category, nothing like first hand sxperience

  187. Dennis says:

    Uriel: I agree that this is terrible, but it is in no way unConstitutional. I have no idea where you got that idea. You not liking something does not make it unConstitutional; it just means you don’t like it.

  188. John Bourgeois says:

    I think it is disturbing that some of the people commenting on this post think that this issue should be treated differently since you are supporting the beliefs of your religion. We can’t have freedom of religion in this country if we cannot exercise this freedom. Everyone is entitled to use a public street regardless of religious affiliation. Even if the person is not a member or follower of your religion, they should respect the concept that you are only attempting to do a good thing. Example 1: “while I could never in any way shape or form support your religion” — Susan. I ask all of you. Who would say such a thing? Could she have simply said, “even though I am not a member of your organization”? Example 2: “Shouldn’t this be less about religion and more about helping people?” — Matt. Doesn’t Matt understand that the concept of “helping people” came from Christ? That before Christ this concept didn’t exist? Another example of how Americans have become religiously illiterate because as a country we have cast the discussion of religions out of our public schools. I attended a religious high school, but we still studied the beliefs of all other religions so that we could understand what each religion stood for and could compare it to our own belief system.

  189. Meira says:

    Good for you! It’s refreshing to see someone willing to risk the consequences of their commitment to God. You have a wonderful ministry. I am a Jew living in Israel. We lived in Jerusalem 5 years ago and we did something similar on a smaller scale. There are a lot of homeless in Jerusalem and most of the soup kitchens are closed on Friday. We have a big problem with this as it leaves people with no food for 2 days over the Sabbath. We started making egg sandwiches with veggies, and getting cheap but decent fruit . My husband would go out on Friday mornings to the center of town and just walk around with his box on a first come first served basis. We didn’t worry about drinks because most cafes will give anyone a cup of water.
    I think it’s horrible that this is illegal in Raleigh and I think it’s awful that homelessness is illegal anywhere. Did they even give you an explanation like maybe sanitation issues with the food? it sounds like they’re being fascistic and just want control. Any “reasonable” objection could be worked out. I suggest that since you are buying this food tho, you just give out the money. It’s between them and God if they buy food or not. Most will, but it’s not for you to judge. God bless you and keep it up!

  190. Dave Walters says:

    I have not seen anyone directly address the question of the law(s) being violated in this. Does ANYONE know an attorney who can weigh or research? I recall reading something similar to this a while back, The ordinance cited was in place to “protect” food vendors from “unfair competition”, and to ensure safety. The gist of the argument was that if someone distributes food for free, they are taking away business from legitimate, licensed, inspected prepared food retailers (forget that the recipients cannot pay anyway), and that if they are not being inspected then they could be distributing unhealthy food in unsanitary conditions. Is there such an ordinance in Raleigh? If so, I propose a groundswell to have that ordinance amended to allow for charitable distribution of food and drink from inspected and sanitary sources.

  191. Marilla says:

    WOW. Is it Ok to have a picnic in the park if you are not homeless? Call it a picnic and go on about your business. If you are arrested for picnicking then all the other people who do the same should be arrested too. I can’t believe the City Council’s nerve.

  192. Roy says:

    I guess Raleigh is joining the ranks of big cities that have decided that feeding the homeless is “unsanitary and undignified” (because, you know, for a lot of them the rest of their condition is completely sanitary and dignified and they’re being forced at gun point to accept a no obligation meal). Of course, this could just be a case of the cop taking all that social programming that they are somehow above the “common” citizen to heart, ignoring that they are civil SERVANTS. He may want to check his badge and the one on the side of his car and pay attention to the two words that are on it “Serve” and “Protect”. He’s doing neither, but welcome to the new new South, right?

  193. Rev Jennifer Phillips says:

    I wonder when the next office workers share a sandwich on their lunch hour in that park, or a mother feeds her toddler a snack, the police will be so zealous to arrest them for feeding others? Why is there a desire to make poverty shameful and even illegal? So that trying to help is then also regarded as socially dangerous and wrong? Our society is going off the track from common humanity as well as its various religious traditions’ values when such a thing happens. I have communicated with each and every counselor on this list.

  194. Barbara Sinnott says:

    When Jesuit peace activist priest Daniel Berrigan was asked, “Why are you in jail?” He answered, “Why aren’t you?”

  195. C Craig says:

    The article made it clear that they do this every Saturday and Sunday because there is NO other option for the homeless on the weekends. The food banks are not open then. They seek to feed, out of their own resources, the homeless and hungry 1 meal a day for those 2 days because there is NO ALTERNATIVE there.
    Who among us has been homeless?
    Who among us has been forced by circumstance to go without food?
    How many of us would find that single biscuit and cup of coffee sufficient sustenance for an entire day?
    To be so lacking in empathy that you would turn a hungry man or woman or CHILD away from food freely given is despicable.
    To stop the righteous from doing what Christ has commanded us to do?
    It is sinful.
    To justify it by saying “I’m just doing my job.” So were the legionnaires who put Christ on the cross.
    There is no tyranny so small that we can turn our eyes from it.
    Whether they hear you or not, speak out!
    Don’t be concerned with their deafness. Be concerned with YOUR actions!
    Speak out!

  196. Karen Smeltzer says:

    It sounds like just a large family reunion picnic. Do they object to people having picnics in the park?

  197. Jamey Ainsworth says:

    They took the wrong ‘tack’,,,I would have insisted on knowing EXACTLY what rule/regulation was being violated, and I would HAVE INSISTED on speaking directly to the WATCH COMMANDER on duty. Cause I’m betting that this is ‘this’ officers idea and not the force or mayor’s….just my thoughts.

  198. Marilee says:

    You have good hearts, but don’t blame police officers for upholding the law.

    I believe a better idea is to support your local organizations that have been established to help the homeless in the area.


  199. Michael says:

    Get your coffee, your biscuits, your bail money and feed God’s children. Sometimes there is a price to pay for doing the right thing. Gods is with you when you feed the people and will be with you fi you are arrested.

  200. Mindfulmoon says:

    If the sidewalk won’t work, are there businesses that are not open on weekend mornings? If so, if they have a parking lot, perhaps they will allow you to use it to distribute. I know distance from the previous location at the park is an issue for those with no ability to travel to a distant location and I don’t know the Raleigh area so I don’t have any idea if this is possible.

  201. Erin says:

    The ordinance is Sec. 9-2022(b): “No individuals or group shall serve or distribute meals or food of any kind in or on any City park or greenway unless such distribution is pursuant to a permit issued by the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Director.”

    Perhaps you haven’t had a problem in the past because the sidewalk may not be considered “in or on” the park. Or maybe these particular law enforcement officers have no hearts.

    Either way, we should all call or write our City Council officials and urge them to write in an exception to this ordinance that allows ministries such as this one to continue serving those in need.

    God bless you all!

  202. Joshua Curfman says:

    Stand up for yourselves, feed the homeless, get arrested, and create a media circus. God doesn’t give these opportunities to just anybody.

  203. Bill says:

    If you need someone willing to be arrested if the police are willing to actually do it, send me an email. I find it despicable that police would even state they will arrest someone for feeding hungry homeless people.

  204. ka says:

    the public servant had no right to be rude to you. it is his duty to enforce laws yes but he is obligated to tell you what law you are breaking. unless you were disrespectful to him in some way he should have told you what law you were breaking in a respectful manner.
    I support your efforts but two thoughts come to mind. MAYBE if this law exists it has something to do with food safety??
    the other thought is why in the world are the soup kitchens closed on the weekends?! if you arent going to feed people every day then
    why bother at all? im sure it has to do with money. do they think people are only homeless during the week somehow? of course they dont. thats ridiculous.
    To me the best solution is to rally to have the kitchens open on the weekends the way it should be. then you can focus your efforts on other things.

  205. Kimberly O'Hara says:

    I am outraged at this. Keep in mind you could see a stray animal and offer it food and water, but dare try to do the same for a human being? This is so mind blowing!! Here’s an idea, why not have a really big picnic in the park every week, unless it’s against the law to eat outside,sit down in a park, sit on the grass, look at a tree, talk out loud, or any other ridiculous idea!!! God bless your ministry, I will keep you in my prayers.
    P.S. Whatever you do, don’t feed the birds!!!

  206. Stevan Farkas says:

    Personally I think the group should have just distributed the goods as usual and let the cops/city deal with the paperwork and the even worse press. And then come back this morning and do it again. And next weekend. And the one after that. It’s a little thing called civil disobedience.

  207. Terry Baylor says:

    You do not have to be christian to believe in human rights and humanity. I hope all of you who have read this article will not only make your comments here, but email the political figures in this community! Be sure to read the article in its entirety first (I see some have not) and email those people who can make a change, the link is provided above.
    Remember the people who hold these offices are usually elected (hired) by the people in it’s community. Remind them of this fact. Be clear and concise so that your e-mail will not be skipped over by the staff that will screen the emails for these people.
    Keep Christianity, Catholicism and other factors out if it, get right to the point! This is a HUMANITARIAN ISSUE, and has nothing to do with what your personal religious beliefs are. The only way to fight this is to remain calm and voice your opinion on every media outlet and put them in the spotlight. Most importantly READ THE ARTICLE and know the facts!

  208. I understand that, sitting here in Connecticut, I am not putting myself on the line, but I agree with those urging peaceful civil disobedience.

  209. kenny says:

    if there is a moose lodge around ask them or if someone has a food truck you can use at the park

  210. Rejoice!!!

    The crime wave in Raleigh plummets so that nothing else has to be concerned about except Christians feeding the poor.

    Here is what I sent to you mayor, pro-tem, and other this morning: I just read of Raleigh’s day in the sun with the threatened arrest of some of your citizenry compassionately trying to feed hungry persons whom you neglect.

    Perhaps crime in your once fair city has become so low that these are the only ones your can threaten with arrest in order to give you city attorney and your police officials something to do.

    The equation is skewed somewhat, but at least you have appeared on the first page on the Internet albeit for the wrong reasons.

    Sad indeed.

    D. Holland

  211. Josh Homer says:

    Guys, clearly the office of the Mayor and the City Council believe that when Jesus said to love thy neighbor, he literally meant to love the people who live in the HOUSES around you. These homeless people do not qualify for the love of Christ or these humanitarians trying to feed them. This police officer, the city council and the mayor are clearly trying to enforce the literal word of Jesus.

  212. Personally, I believe you should have passed out the food. Found an individual/s who could afford to be arrested and pass out the food in protest. It is the Christian duty to feed the hungry and you obey a higher power. An unjust law is no law at all- St Thomas Aquinasl

  213. Jos Reyn says:

    Jesus was arrested and executed legally. The law is there to intimidate and it works doesn’t it? You were threatened and they would not quote the ordinance so it was an exercise in power. The idea that the permit is so costly and the threats are to make you go away because in the end they just want the poor and homeless to go away either by leaving or just dying, doesn’t matter a lot which either it seems.
    Your choice is to be quiet or face this oppression and be arrested. So far you tried playing nice and did just what they want. One point for them. Now when you find they won’t let you set up a place to feed them – oh those license fees and regulations and just not letting yo9u have a permit anyhow – well, are you going to fold then too? I can just see Jesus deciding “You know this is just too much trouble and you can’t fight city hall”
    Also time to vote that group out of office or go down trying

  214. bethany says:

    I am sure this is because the city is trying to make moore square better and are trying to attract more business to the area. there is a big homeless problem in moore square and setting up a soup kitchen on the weekend probably only makes it worse. I’m sure If you move elsewhere it would not be a problem. contrary to the title it is not illegal for you to feed the homeless in Raleigh, they just don’t want you doing it there. I hope someone donates their parking lot so you can continue this good work.

  215. Thomas says:

    This is not about the police being overly zealous. It is about those who are wealthy, who do not want to see the poor or even acknowledge them, pass city ordinances through their crony city council members and then forcing the police to enforce them. Voting the city council out is the answer, and electing compassionate people to the posts.

  216. neil Wraight says:

    I agree with one or two other people that have said use Churches to distribute the food. After all America and all the modern President’s seem to bring God into the equation whenever they make a decision (going to war etc) so on that basis a really humane good thing happening in a house of God would be extremely difficult to disagree with.

  217. Gemmi says:

    For out of towners who are emailing everyone, here are all the email addresses so you can just cut and paste:
    Mary-Ann.Baldwin@raleighnc.gov (mary-ann.baldwin@raleighnc.gov); Russ.Stephenson@raleighnc.gov (russ.stephenson@raleighnc.gov); Randall.Stagner@raleighnc.gov (randall.stagner@raleighnc.gov); John.Odom@raleighnc.gov (john.odom@raleighnc.gov); Eugene.Weeks@raleighnc.gov (eugene.weeks@raleighnc.gov); Thomas.Crowder@raleighnc.gov (thomas.crowder@raleighnc.gov); Bonner.Gaylord@raleighnc.gov (bonner.gaylord@raleighnc.gov); Nancy.McFarlane@raleighnc.gov (nancy.mcfarlane@raleighnc.gov)

  218. Katherine & Garland Goard says:

    Might I suggest you find a Church nearby.. This is PRIVATE property and they can not bar you from using it for anything you wish. Use the church to give out the food. Then let them try to arrest you. They can not do so. God bless you for the work you do and may he fill your baskets with a huge harvest so that you may feed even more homeless and hungry people. I think it’s a shame that we send Egypt 1.4 BILLION dollars in Military aid every year and we can’t even donate and prepare and feed the homeless and hungry in our own country. God will not allow this to stand much longer. One day, this policeman that threatened to arrest you will be IN that line.. for a biscuit and a cup of coffee.. and he will get it. But as his body is nourished, I hope he feels so guilty that he did what he did that he can’t finish it all and must feed it to a homeless animal which, too need this service. Again, God Bless and think about what I said. A NEARBY CHURCH WOULD SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS!

  219. Reginald Foster says:

    The devil hard at work. But the LORD will make a way. Keep praying and I will too.

  220. A similar incident happened in Atlanta in the 1990s, with the cops trying to close down a Food not Bombs free breakfast program in an Atlanta park. The humanitarians agreed to take down their table, but an organized campaign to defend the food distribution began. Among many others I wrote a letter to US Rep John Lewis (D-GA) who represented that part of town, and a delegation of concerned citizens went to meet with him. Ultimately the cops backed down and the food program resumed. So it can be done.

  221. Chance says:

    As a member of LatinosNYC.org i want to say thank you for the work you do. We feed the less fortunate every third Saturday of the month on the side walk next to the park in NYC. Friends in need is the organization we assist. Friends in need has been feeding the less fortunate at that same location for over 10 years every weekend. I understand the troubles and set backs and how difficult it is. make them stand in one straight line so you aren’t blocking the side walk and you should be good

  222. Nancy Hilliard says:

    “What the heck in happening in America when they send millions to countries and the governments mostly keep the money themselves, but don’t allow their own poor and homeless to be fed.” Our taxpayer money that we send overseas goes to governments that send it right back to our defense contractors — money laundering transfer of middle class money to the super wealthy corporations and individuals. All of the transfer benefits the “Haves” and not the “Have Nots”.

  223. Harold L Raymond III says:

    I would have fed them anyway and been arrested so I could turn around and sue the department for damages. PLUS, I would have went after the arresting Officers liability insurance. They back off real quick when you do that.

  224. Kris says:

    I’m so sad to hear about this experience. If anyone has spent a moment with people who are homeless they would realize they are people too who are just down on their luck or suffering some personal battles and deserve respect. I might suggest that someone with this organization put together a http://www.change.org petition including those email addresses. Getting more publicity to this situation and showing how many in the community support you may go a long way to getting cooperation.

  225. Rebecca says:

    I do not live in Raleigh (or currently in NC), nor am I familiar with your organization, but I was born and raised in NC and hope to move back very soon. I came across this post on a friend’s Facebook wall, and I am saddened to hear about the unwillingness of local government to work with varies groups who are working to help the homeless and disadvantaged. While I am not personally religious in the traditional sense, I believe wholeheartedly in working to help those less fortunate. I am deeply disturbed by the recent turn of events in both politics, and seemingly, public sentiment in my home state, and this event just adds to that list of disappointment. Being out of state, there is not much I can do to help. However, I have forwarded this page to the Raleigh News and Observer new tip line in the hopes of bringing some attention (and positive outcome) towards your plight. Keep up with the good works.

  226. rodger says:

    The closest church can open its doors to the homeless and feed them and the government can do nothing legal about it. If they try to do so, go to jail and fight it in the courts.

  227. Sam says:

    I think it is normal for those who does not chip in to help or even oppose to the feeding the hungry because it causes them inconvenience because they don’t understand. To win them over (I think this is evangelizing), should the feeding operation take into consideration of any and all of the inconveniences that might have caused and prevent them from happening. Jesus taught us to serve with our hearts and not by the law.

  228. jimmy says:

    the only way to make a change is to let the “government” in the town know that if they don’t change the ordinance they will be voted out and new people put in place to change it. The real problem is money, the MONEY in the town is wanting to get rid of the homeless or put them out of sight so people will spend more time and MONEY in the town on the weekends ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY. get rid of the pressure that the people who have MONEY put on the “government” and things will change. Its not about helping the homeless, its about CONTROL and MONEY.

  229. Paulette Hester says:

    This is as bad as the new food stamp system in Wake county-NC FAST to expedite service. I personally know of a young mother with 2 small children who lost her job almost 2 years ago. Never been on government assist before of any kind. We finally talked her into applying for Food Stamps in March and she qualified for “emergency” help with-in 7 days. It is almost September and she has received nothing. They will not return calls, she has received no letter, when she goes there she is told she must see her case worker. She leaves additional messages for her case worker and the calls are never returned. In the mean time, she and her children would starve. Keep in mind, the Governor gave the IT person in charge of this new program a big, fat raise! I say go pass out the breakfast in front of his “mansion”

  230. Chester says:

    You should have asked for there Supervisor name and number then keep going up

  231. MKPatterson says:

    I believe the Simplest solution is to just feed the homeless in the parking lot of a church nearby. ANY TIME you use public property, you have to have permits, unfortunately but true. It is all about freakin’ attorneys and law suits. SO just use a church parking lot and you will have no problem. Easy.

    IF the people are sleeping in the park, it may be the reason the police are there and no longer want you all to feed them there, hence attracting more homeless and it keeps them at the park loitering. Please don’t kill the Messenger, just think about it. So find a church and ask them to use the parking lot. End of the problem. The police and city do not mind you doing it, but do it on your own property.

  232. Don says:

    Looking at the map there are at least 3 churches near the park and one appears to be directly across the street from one end of the park. Get permission to use their parking lot as a distribution point. I would think as another church you would be able to use the facility for free and still accomplish the goal. This would be on private property not requiring a permit and within the scope of a churches community function. As to the officer saying “I’m not going to debate this” while blunt it is not the officers job to have discussions regarding the law, that is the function of attorney’s and the courts. If officers had to have lengthy debates on every single call for service they would be hard pressed to get much done. The officers were acting on instructions from superiors and while unfortunate in the result any blame does not rest on their shoulders. Hopefully clearer heads and human compassion will resolve this issue.

  233. Tina Trottier says:

    can you have picnics? find the loop holes and beats them up with them or get arrested on camera depends on what we are willing to give up!

  234. Carol Martin says:

    Start a petition on Moveon. org and saturate the Raleigh city council with THOUSANDS of signatures to stop this injustice and cruelty to the homeless and hungry. This will go more than viral.

  235. John says:

    MY INPUT: As a social media guru..it is vitally imporant to pursue all avenues of getting this situation as much media attention as you can. Call WRAL, call other local news stations..and yes, go next time or some other group and INVITE those news stations to go with. When confronted by the police and your camera’s are honed in, ask the officer to explain, why he/she refuses to address exactly, what ordinance(s) you are breaking and why are those trying to help others, are being treated like thugs, like criminals for trying to help those in need…and why, are you now being told to pay a permit fee that is just so out of line ($800 or so, per day), simply for our government to profit off this good deed…less government, is the answer. The People elected our officials and the People can remove them (voting time).

  236. petra says:

    mind you i have relatives that live in raleigh nc and i am appauled that the police would not let the homeless be fed. i will not be visiting raleigh, nc ever again. we used to make the trek with six kids all the time to see our relatives and thought of this as home away from home. no longer will i ever set foot in your city as a result of this. i pride myself in lending a helping hand to whomever may need it. i myself am unemployed due to a disability for over a year and while there is still breath in me i will continue to help those in need. shame on you people. have a heart.

  237. Chuck says:

    You mean to tell me in 6 years you have been doing this, the Mayor of Raleigh couldn’t put a little money aside here and there to eventually build a reliable place the homeless can go to get a meal from volunteers? The system is ruined.

  238. Moksha Jo Efsea says:

    I am certainly NO Christian. I’m gay and in general despise Christianity because of how its followers behave. HOWEVER, the colonies began and were established by those who fled countries where the state, the police, the king imposed religious restrictions. The very reason our nation even exists came out of this basic freedom. WTF is going on?

  239. Matthew M. Miller says:

    THIS is the way things are supposed to be done. Not by the government seizing our money and deciding what to do with it; but by charitable people and charitable organizations helping people because they WANT to. What’s wrong with that group being a Christian church-based group?! Who are more peaceful and charitable than Christians?! And who is this officer to say he is going to arrest people without being willing or able to cite a law that is being broken?! Let him arrest you and he will have to ” debate” why with a judge!

  240. Dante Urzi says:

    Bonner Gaylord posted on his reelection page this morning that he is going to talk to the police department and find out what happened and why.

  241. Deborah says:

    This is absolutely amazing. I used to live in Raleigh and was a minister there for a number of years. Whenever we did disaster relief–we fed people. Doesn’t being homeless and hungry count as the same type of disaster? That’s the situation a lot of people found themselves in after the hurricanes, tornadoes, fires–homeless and hungry. Yet, no one was arrested for helping. I like the idea of taking it to the Governor’s mansion. Set up stations along the route–at the legislature building, at the capitol…they can’t arrest someone for eating while they’re walking down the street. Raleigh businessmen/women do it all the time. You have my thoughts and blessings as you bless the lives of so many.

  242. Uter Zorker says:

    Next week y’all should move down to the Governor’s mansion and give out cookies.

  243. Noel says:

    Check out Food Not Bombs. They have been fighting this battle for 30 years, and their knowledge may help you.

    Hungry for Peace Book

  244. Greg says:

    What I sent to the Raleigh officials. Bless you in your work.


    I own property in Raleigh and have many relatives who live there. That is to say, I’m not a voter there but as a taxpayer I am concerned about what happens in Raleigh.

    There may be another side to the issue raised in the threat to arrest members of the Love Wins ministries for feeding the homeless, but it does not appear that the city and police are acting in good faith.

    I urge you to look deeply into this matter and find a solution that allows the ministry to do its work. I urge you to find solutions that help the homeless and hungry.

    Raleigh is a great city with much to be proud or. Please make sure to include compassion and problem-solving to your many fine attributes.

    Best Regards,
    Greg Hughes
    Fort Worth, Texas

  245. Karri says:

    we were feeding the homeless in Las Vegas last winter when the same thing happened.
    It is against the law apparently, in LV in regards to “sanitary food preparation”.

  246. Kristen Ford-Newell says:

    .It is going to get worse. There is going to be more unemployment do to certain policies being implemented …I won’t give a political speech here..but I feel the Gov’t wants people to be poor so they can provide food, shelter and clothing to everyone…They are creating a Socialist State. They want to be “in charge”…no brotherly love, no charity can be bestowed on one another anymore. Any type of Christian love will be abolished. Guaranteed all Good Will Stores, Shelters for homeless or abused women, Meals on Wheels will be forced into distinction. ….They will use some lame excuse such as lack nutrition, disease infestation, etc to close facilities in an attempt to secure positive public opinion…But we should remain strong and help those in need…regardless…We are each others’ keeper and must help those less fortunate. It is evil to deny someone a meal for their survival. I think many want to get rid of the sick and elderly also. They view their existence as worthless.. Absolutely horrible!!!!!

  247. Jeff Martin says:

    If you want to make a BIG impact and change things you have to hit them where it hurts the most…..remember their names and vote EVERY COUNCEL MEMBER AND MAYOR out of office in their next election and make it very clear to the new members where you stand and how you want things ran. Remember they are supposed to work FOR US not their own agenda. If we want things to change in this city, state and country WE the people must learn to work together and not believe the stories and lies that we are told. Good luck in your endeavor and keep feeding the needy.

  248. R.B. Wilson says:

    How about just feeding the pigeons in the park? Is that illegal? Maybe you should just feed the pigeons…sandwiches and coffee.

  249. Charlie Warner says:

    Sounds to me the mayor or city council or both have been talking about how it would look to have a lot of homeless, hungry people living in Raleigh. Sounds like they are more concerned about the “image” it portrays. If I were considering relocating to another community or bringing a new business in, I would be much more favorably impressed with a community that showed compassion rather than one with their collective council noses in the air. I suggest the mayor and council be locked in the city hall and have to watch every episode of the Andy Griffith Show. Then each one write a research paper on “The Shortcomings of The City Council of Mayberry”

  250. Michael Fleming says:

    It is sad that homelessness exists but it does….. To offer food to a hungry person does not make the problem go away… It just shows that there are some of us that feel that a hand up is not a hand out… Where they were being fed was less of a problem than the migration of so many to a new location.. They don’t just magically appear… They walk….Through new neighborhoods and commercial properties….. Will that violate new laws? Humanity is so lacking in our world today….. The answer ls to do what this group is doing….Dare to care… A hungry man has more potential for violence than one who has been fed….. It is not the police… It is the lawmakers that are to blame.

  251. KAREN PARKER says:


  252. Will says:

    First off, is not the police who are guilty. They are just doing there job. We had the same thing in Durham. Its the upper class rich people who complained and complained that it does not look good for our (Their) city. Finally it was not allowed to feed the homeless in public. It was the Upper class RICH people who did the complaining. The lower and middle class people were the ones trying to help the homeless. Finally something happened as a Church group set up tents and were back out there helping and feeding then homeless. Other fortunate people came with clothing lunch bags and money to help out where they could.

  253. stu says:

    I think the best thing you can do is bring this to the attention of every media outlet you can. This has the potential to blow up beyond just local news, and essentially shame the city into reversing this heartless policy, or at least publicly addressing the reasoning behind it. While you might see it as “playing dirty” in order to fight back, it may be your best chance at seeing swift results.

  254. Micah says:

    This isn’t a religious issue. It is a litigious issue and government run amuck. There are many organizations that help to feed clothe and support those less fortunate. Many homeless in America are Vererans and as a Veteran myself and current active duty military, it stirs a fire inside me. I am a South Carolinian by birth and North Carolinian by virtue of my parents having moved. Having served all over the world, lived in many countries, and various parts of the US… It was always good to return to the friendly south. Where a wave and a smile to a stranger is the norm and friendly word doesn’t make people cringe.
    There are many ways you could act inside the law and I know you said you aren’t trying to circumvent the officers and laws of Raleigh but there is a time to stand up and be counted. As others have said, where would we be as a country today if the Rosa Parks, the Kings, the Evers, the unknown hero who selflessly have of himself to help others in need had not taken a stand and said ,” this is not right, this is not just, this must change”?
    There are times when doing the right thing means putting yourself out there for public eyes to witness. While you may be arrested, and it is easy for posters to say get arrested but none of us know your situation an whether you have kids or a job that requires you to be around, the charges and subsequent backlash, politically for those involved, could be the necessary mechanism to induce change.

  255. tree hugger says:

    While there may be a restriction to feeding the homeless people on the minds of all involved. Just make it a family and friends picnic and daily meet up for public use of a very public park. Unless, there are ordinances banning everyone from having food or beverage in the park or near the park the arrests have no merit. Let them post a sign that says no one may enter the park with food or beverage and you must provide proof of your housing situation before you can share a meal with friends. This stuff is illegal for these lower level governments to do it violates our constitution.

  256. Kathleen says:

    Sometimes it’s important to go to jail for your beliefs. If you believe you are following your Christian beliefs, do what Christians have all been exhorted to do: feed the poor.

  257. Cole says:

    On behalf of all the decent left in Raleigh (however few of us there may be left) I’m so sorry

  258. J W Smith says:

    For those who think that private charity is the answer to government “handouts”, this will certainly pose a problem. Surely there is a church and/or a business that will allow the use of their parking lot during non-business hours, like a Sat. Morning for a church and a Sunday morning for an office building or a store that is closed all day or until later in the day. I thought police were required to tell someone exactly what they were being arrested for, but maybe not until the arrest actually occurs. It might be worth-while to continue and see if arrests actually occur or if this was just an intimidation tactic. Seeking legal assistance would be worthwhile. I find it curious that after years of good relationships with the police that the city council would make this illegal without bothering to inform anyone at your church about the change. No accounting for what politicians do.

  259. Moejj says:

    Interesting. The arrogance of the police officer. Then they wonder why the negative image of them brought about by themselves. Nothing more macho than bullying some Church members. They need to maintain the ability to distinguish between benign, kind citizens, and a thug. Otherwise, just a typical power tripping ass hiding behind a badge and a gun.

  260. Paul says:

    The government does not want competition, especially with Christians.. the mortal enemy of the state and its very evil policies. They want to be the ones feeding the homeless through social programs and keep them barely surviving, but creating dependents of the state.. therefore buying votes and creating more class warfare. You feeding them interferes with the indoctrination of the state as a God. They will be going after home schooled parents soon enough also.. they want ALL children indoctrinated by state public schools

  261. tree hugger says:

    wake up to the fact that if homelessness is illegal then all homeless are criminal…. Reminds me of some story I heard about from the late 1930’s early 1940’s in a country not too far away…..

  262. Motherunit says:

    I sent emails to all the contacts listed for the city. Hopefully they will rethink this cold-hearted new policy. I live in Ohio, and I don’t belong to any church, so I have no dog in this fight. I just plain think it’s wrong.

  263. craig says:

    I support what you are doing, but think it shouldn’t be out in the public square. Find a church, or other location, that will allow you to feed the homeless. Aren’t there rescue missions two blocks away from Moore Square where you could do this? People like to go downtown, to walk around, eat in restaurants, visit museums, or chill in bars, without being molested by homeless people asking for money, etc., on the weekends. Congregating a large group of homeless people in and around Moore Square is basically inviting them to hang out there all day long. And there’s a children’s museum right across the street. I don’t think I would want to invite large masses of homeless people to hang around places I know children are going to be playing.

    Like I said, I support your good heartedness to feed the poor and homeless. I know a large number of them suffer mental health issues, etc., but that’s also a great argument for you not to invite them to hang out in the public square.

  264. MollyM says:

    Sad. Unbelievable. Disappointing. Calls made. Email sent.

  265. lana says:

    hello all ~ Karen, I am a Northern transplant … I fed people at my door when Sandy hit our shores … not sure where your idea of “Northerners” has come from but I was raised to be a charitable person by my New York City mother and my Maryland father … what is it you hope to accomplish by placing arbitrary divisions and pointing fingers? I pray for resolution to this situation which will benefit everyone.

  266. Sunflower 3668 says:

    I have read the article that has been posted, but has anyone noticed that the police officer has a cup of coffee in his hand? Maybe just maybe where ever he bought it, complained to him, that they were losing out of selling their coffee to the hungry!

    Over here they would receive the ‘Mr Jobs worth title’ and put in our National Papers to be shamed. Also our council would clamp down if they had not got A Health cert for giving the food away. This would be another ‘Jobs worth title’ and names in a National paper.

    It beggers belief whats going on here.
    Good Luck to one and all.

  267. Katy Abrams says:

    This is the email I sent every person you listed. I hope so much that your work continues.

    Ms. McFarlane,

    As a resident of the Carolinas for over a decade, I consider this place my home for life. I take my community and its well-being seriously, and I consider all Carolinians to be my neighbors. When I read about the conflict that has come up with Love Wins ministries and their attempt to continue the work they began years ago, providing coffee and a sandwich to hungry Carolinians who are not supported by any taxpayer food programs on Sundays, I was deeply saddened. If we are a Christian nation, as so many of us insist we are, then what kind of Christian nation are we, who will not allow the poor to be fed? Because there, but for the grace of God, go I. Poverty is, for many of us, only a few disasters away. One lost job, one major illness, one death in the family, and we could be lining up with those hungry Raleigh citizens, waiting for our own cup of coffee and sandwich, grateful to have one warm meal for the day.

    I don’t know what created the conflict today, of all days. I don’t know what motivated it. I do know that whatever it is, it cannot be greater than the motivation Jesus gave us when we told us to care for one another, to clothe and feed our neighbors who are in want.

    I do hope, so much, that the city can reach a place of peace with Love Wins, and allow them to carry on their work unimpeded.


    Katy Abrams
    currently of Columbia, SC, formerly of Boone, NC

  268. debra dampier says:

    2 words….Pat McCrory and his good ole boy network. He hands out cookies to women protestors and stops the feeding of hungry folks. I’m embarassed to even share that I was raised in North Carolina these days.

  269. Darnell Thoms says:

    I will send and email in attempts to help get this changed

  270. Scott says:

    It’s a shame that I can’t walk downtown or sit in a restaurant outdoor seating area without being harassed by homeless people. Just this week I was hoping for a police officer to ride by as we were being harassed by a bum on Fayetteville St. Thank you Raleigh PD for trying to help clean up downtown and make it enjoyable for people. Take your homeless feeding efforts out of downtown. How about the parking lot of the Wilmington St shelter or one of those nearby vacant lots.

    • Mike says:

      Yeah, it’s a real shame you’re so privileged. You shouldn’t have to see those scum every day, should you? Hide them, and the problem goes away, right? I hope you join them, you terrible, terrible human being.

  271. nancee says:

    is it illegal to eat in the park? go eat your breakfast there. stack your coffee and bisquits at another table with a sign that says free. you would not be feeding them….they would be feeding themselves.

  272. George says:

    What in the hell is wrong with this country??!!! We can send BILLIONS of dollars over seas to people who hate us and want to kill every last man woman and child here but we can not feed our own homeless? We can send billions of dollars to arm rebels who again would shoot us on sight with the same weapons, but we can’t give someone a little food who has none? The real kicker is this entire endeavor is not costing the tax payers one red cent!! What ever happened to the old saying “charity begins at home”? What ever happened to “love thy neighbor”? What ever happened to taking care of our own first? Since when did it become illegal for the public to use a public place? What ever happened to our rights to peacefully assemble? How much more peaceful is feeding and caring for someone who has nothing? If I could afford to get to Raleigh North Carolina next weekend I would be there with bells on and YES I would force them to arrest me for feeding a fellow human being and having a heart! I would then sue them for violating my civil and constitutional rights and take what ever the court awards and build a frickin food pantry/kitchen/shelter with it!

  273. Melissa Goldsborough says:

    Religious or Not and I am Not, All I have to say is this IS WRONG to Not let these kind people feed those in NEED. What if this OFFICER lost his job for ANY unforseen circumstance and a month from now was ONE of the HUNGRY standing in this same line waiting for his only chance of the day to eat a meal? What if this was HIS or the MAYORS, MOTHER, WIFE, SISTER Daughter, Aunt , Uncle Father,Father,Brother, Son, Grandmother Grandfather OR the MAYOR HIM SELF waiting for this meal.Nobody knows what the future holds MONEY and POWER can come crashing down on anyone anytime. Officers involved and Mr. Mayor of Raleigh NC. I hope the you you’re self and this officer NEVER in your life time EVER have to experience what the true feeling of hunger is and I hope you never have to depend on a free meal from kind hearts .It is all about money for you and your city to collect the TAX for permit to feed these hungry people. I hope all that money fills up your belly and you are No longer hungry. I also hope that money tastes good. If a disaster ever happens to you and your family and there is NO actual food or water for you to eat or drink I hope that money satisfy your most basic of needs.
    Just another poor american living on food stamps lucky enough to have a refrigerator to keep food in and a place to prepare the food.Since you can’t buy a hot or premade meal on food stamps. Sad thing is they are willing in most states to give the homeless more money for food than the working poor single mother that has $2 in her pocket after the bills are paid.

  274. Jim says:

    The reason we no longer see the soup lines like my parents generation did during the first great depression back in the 20’s and 30’s is because it is now hidden in plain view. The government would like to hide our overwhelming poverty problem from curious eyes and this is just another successful attempt to do so. Because 1 in 7 people are now on food stamps, the State now circulates SNAP cards (supplemental nutritional assistance program) so there are no longer paper stamps that are exchanged at the grocery store check out line. Exchanging food stamps now looks like any other credit card transaction so nobody would ever know if someone is on Federal assistance. School children who are eligible for free lunches are now required to enter a 7 digit PIN into a payment register just like all their other classmates so that no child would ever be singled out as receiving government assistance. In addition, families who have been foreclosed on have been living in their foreclosed houses for years without paying on their mortgages. The banks can’t even sell these houses so they just let the families live there until they can find a buyer. This is not the America that I remember growing up. The Raleigh police is just an agent of a larger system that has sold out the American dream to large corporate interests. To quote Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.

  275. Brianna says:

    I grew up in Raleigh sadly I left 12 years ago. But for years I’ve advocated for the good things that Raleigh is known for. Its sad when is politics get involved in the basic of human needs and that is helping others. From schools to our everyday work its like politics is forever pressing on the American people. I worked for a non-profit back in Raleigh and it was that anyone could come in an receive help but since I came back to visit just to get help its limited and the tons of paperwork one has to feel out it makes a person even feel worse when people that are in high positions make people feel like they are nothing. I wept reading this article I’m so embarrass to say I’m from Raleigh, NC.

  276. Ginger Smythe says:

    Get badge numbers and call the non emergency public safety no.

  277. Orinda Spence says:

    As an outsider, it seems to me that Raleigh NC is using high priced permits to keep persons in need from using the park and now the city officials/police don’t even want any less fortunate folks to congregate even on the sidewalk. It is discrimination pure and simple. The worst of America showing itself off right there in NC. Sounds like a great state to be “from”.

  278. Karri says:

    This is absolutely rediculous! Have you considered started a petition on change.org?

  279. Al Lovett says:

    Raleigh First Baptist Church located on South Wilmington Street feeds the homeless Breakfast every Sunday in their kitchen as well as having service for them.

  280. Bob says:

    I am not religious and agree this is not an issue of religion. This is an issue of right and wrong. Raleigh won’t feed the homeless on weekends and now says its illegal for others to do so as well. The only thing to do is force the issue.

    Show up next week to feed folks as usual. If threatened with arrest, go ahead and get arrested – peacefully. Let folks know you’re going to do it, and they will be there to help by the hundreds. I know I’ll be there, and I’ll bring peaceful, supportive friends.

    The end result likely wont be concession by Raleigh to allow continued feeding of the destitute in this location, but it will force the City Council to come up with a workable plan to allow food distribution somewhere reasonable. Their current position is simply indefensible and immoral.

  281. Robert Griggs says:

    You can get a permit to “picket” free of charge. The way I read the ordinance, you would not be prohibited from giving a biscuit to someone while talking to them about your cause. Just an idea. God bless you and your work.
    Raleigh Municipal Code Sec. 12-1055. – PICKETING DEFINED

  282. You were breaking the law. At the city, county, state and federal level. When serving food to the general public (whether you are charging for this service or giving it away) you must store, transport and serve it in containers that will keep it at a certain temperature so as not to make anyone sick. Who knows how many homeless people have gotten sick over the past 6 years. The homeless can’t afford to go to the hospital when they get sick, so we never will really know.

    As for the officer not wanting to debate it? He isn’t the mayor, council member, judge, prosecutor or jury. He is simply doing his job and his job doesn’t include debating you as to whether or not you think it is right or wrong for him to do so. With that said the Mayor & council answer to their constituents. And if their constituents say no more feeding the homeless on the side of a public street, then no more feeding the homeless on the side of a public street. You made mention of the numerous churches that help you with this so called job (your quote: “Today officers from Raleigh Police Department prevented us from doing our work, for the first time ever.”), maybe they can open their church to your worthy cause . . . or are the church members telling you they don’t want the homeless hanging around outside their church on a Sunday morning waiting for a handout??? Makes one wonder.

  283. Sean says:

    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. The key to resolving this conflict is to teach the homeless a skill which they can in turn use to find a job, make money and support themselves without relying on the help and support of others. Providing them a free meal simply perpetuates the problem.

    • Mike says:

      The problem isn’t that they lack skills; the problem is that there aren’t enough jobs!

      If there aren’t enough jobs, no amount of skills training will fix these problems. There will still be unemployed people and homeless people, by the millions.

      And how do you get millions of jobs created? Deficit spending. The Federal government has the power to create full employment, if only it would use it.

    • Patricia Joy says:

      You do realise there is a recession on, there are millions across the world out of work because there isn’t any work to be had and that includes America.

  284. Caroline Ervin says:

    I am more than horrified! This has become the attitude of our state. Do not just blame a cop…blame a government who insists on such behavior. Blame a state and city government for the attitude of those who have sold their ethics and basic humanity to ONE MAN…by the name of ART POPE. Blame PEOPLE, just plain people for allowing this abomination to happen in our state. If we are allowed to vote again, vote them out. Look for the goodness in candidates and vote for them. The state belongs to us, not elected officials nor those who control them.

  285. Paul Beachem says:

    Why were the people getting the food not arrested? Were they not partaking in the “crime” as well. 70 hungry people could not stand up for their rights…………SO now you have 70 hungry people out on the street looking for food and just might get it anyway they can, like doing a real crime?? I am flabbergasted, this is something you see in NYC or Cal NOT “NC” “some southern hospitality” Maybe the donuts shops in NC should do a boycott on police,but that would wake them up!

  286. I tried to call and voice my concerns over this sad situation however the mailbox was full therefore I could not leave a message. One would think though when the community is helping the community and it is not costing the city but is indeed helping their citizens they would be grateful not hateful. I am sure the city is more than able to offer a free alternative spot to disperse free food to the public if there is a valid reason to not use the public park if they wanted to he helpful and not harmful. It sounds like City Council needs to re-think this and make come good choices for their constituents!

  287. robert jones says:

    I believe that our way of life is under assault by a system of government that is motivated by greed. It is beyond belief that you can not give out food to the hungry in the United States of America. Our corrupt government wants to control everything even the distribution of food. What’s next ?

  288. Paul Beachem says:

    I an sure there is a church somewhere that would gladly take $1,600…….but wait the city would have to raise taxes to cover review lose.

  289. Blade Angel says:

    I think it would also be worth adding the phone number and email for Raleigh’s chief of police – if anyone has direct authority to control the actions of the officers, it is him/her, not a city politician.

  290. Dianne says:

    Could you all be a family, having a picnic in the park? Could the police stop you from handing some food to your “brothers and sisters”? How is this any different?

  291. X. Tourist says:

    Adding the Carolinas to my list of states I will never visit, spend money in, or do business with.

  292. Downtown Raleigh Advocate says:

    I would love it if this move keeps this stuff out of Moore Square permanently. I avoid that area when I can. There’s a reason Nash Square is so much more enjoyable than Moore Square – and it’s not being closer to a fire department.

    This didn’t happen because the city council hates the homeless – it happened because so many citizens have complained about it.

  293. blklightdisco says:

    Pay attention Raleigh!

  294. Jack Buechner says:

    as best I can research the only Member of the Raleigh council that is a Republican is ODOM with the rest being either Democrats or Independents. I point this out simply because there is a rumbling inference here that the council are North Carolina arch-conservatives (and therefore Republicans). There has to be something much deeper in this story considering that this is a very liberal enclave within what is mostly a red state. I am not satisfied that the responses of outrage (which at a gut level I subscribe to) are informing the readers of the full story (prior disturbances, trash scattered about, scavenging critters attracted, harassing park goers by the sandwich/coffee seekers????). Not enough here other than personal outrage. And I ask myself why this was not picked up by the local media or even the Huffington Post , Think Progressive or Daily Kos?????

  295. Adam says:

    Please do not over generalize all police officers. Not all of us are as several have described in their comments. I take every opportunity to feed the homeless with snacks I have in my patrol car or a sandwich from a gas station. I do not make them stop panhandling unless its after dark or they’re harassing drivers. Most who know me understand that I expect them to be respectful with me but more importantly with their fellow citizens. I have prayed with and for them. I have given out Bibles I carry in my trunk. I have fed them. And I have fellowshipped with them. Not all police are power hungry jerks, some of us really do want to make a difference. – Charlotte, NC

  296. David H. says:

    This is wrong on so many levels. Like someone else said, it shouldn’t be about religion – I’m agnostic, yet I cook for the church’s soup kitchen (for 150+ people) ever week. I do it because I have the time, and it’s the right thing to do. Granted, because we are feeding people on private property, the city/police cannot do anything about it (other than requiring a valid health/food-prep certificate), but this is just silly.

    Perhaps you can find another place nearby – privately owned – that would let you use their property – even a house with a big yard – all you’d have to do is stand just inside the property line, and the police/city would have to jump through all kinds of legal hoops to issue you a cease and desist…

  297. Norm says:

    I like how Gail Anderson uses the Lord’s name in vain when speaking of his work and beliefs

  298. Phil Byrd says:

    Regardless of where the food or volunteers are coming from, the point is these churches and volunteers are filling a void on the weekends to feed the homeless of downtown Raleigh. If the city, which includes both elected officials and paid employees (police) do not want churches and those who volunteer to do this needed service, then they need to set up and do it. Of course this would mean using TAX PAYER money (public sector) versus church donations (Private sector). Hopefully for a change some common sense will take hold in our government. Then again if history proves itself right as it usually does, the government will probably use our tax money or worse, do nothing at all.

  299. K. Davis says:

    Unbelievable…! Our State government has gone berserk, and definitely not following ‘Christian’ principles!

  300. Bob Jennings says:

    The cop would not tell you which ordinance or statute you were violating because
    he didn’t know. Must have been in a donut shop the day they covered that in cop school. If you are arrested cops have to tell you specifically which law, rule, etc you are being charged under. The ideal response would be “then arrest me. We will let a jury of my peers determine who is right.” The trial to which you are entitled will cost the city thousands of dollars which it does not have. Also, get the press involved, get the officer’s name and badge number so you can include him/her in the false arrest/illegal detention law suit which is forth coming.

  301. Rob says:

    The Police clearly have no law or ordinance to back up their ridiculous bully efforts. However the Homeless are extremely aggressive and disgusting in downtown Raleigh. Using some Arabian fairy tales to masquerade in righteousness is way more arrogant than the Police, who were just doing their job, keeping the Peace. Why not hire some of the homeless and Teach them how to fish, instead of giving them a fish and sausage biscuits. Your helping hand is not lifting them up, you are just as guilty of holding them down.

  302. Curtis Bash says:

    There isn’t much you can do but if it were me I would boycott NC and I would not vote for the incumbents next election. If I owned businesses in NC I would remove them and any and all contracts would be nil and void.

  303. Lin says:

    Giving coffee and biscuits isn’t an effective long-term solution. Research shows that handouts don’t help! Check out the studies cited here: http://evasvillage.org/wordpress/cost-panhandling-poor-homeless. If you want to help, don’t just treat the symptoms, address the underlying problem. Stop enabling. Donate your time/money/resources to a shelter or place that can help them get jobs, housing, and healthcare. Maybe the reason those places aren’t open and available on weekends is because they don’t have the funds/manpower to do so? Still worried about them getting enough to eat? Homeless people are also eligible for SNAP benefits (formerly called Food Stamps) – and you don’t need an ID or permanent address (more info: http://frac.org/federal-foodnutrition-programs/snapfood-stamps/homeless-persons-rights-under-the-snapsnapfood-stamp-program/). If you really want to fight homeless, empower them to better themselves!

  304. Shannon Leggett-Clark says:

    Really !?! Not allowing people to feed the
    homeless *shaking head*

  305. Leigh Van Horn says:

    I agree with Anne. The group needs to join with a church to have an area to meet and distribute food to those that are in need. That is one of the purposes of a church. To help the needy. Or meet with them all and create a unified group that takes turns each weekend as a distribution point. Have youth groups participate. Put the words of the bible into action. And thank you for what you have been doing.

  306. bob says:

    I think I can guess what’s happened here–

    This weekly act of charity probably attracts a lot of homeless to Moore Square every week. After breakfast, some homeless stay around Moore Square. Inevitably, some local business or resident has complained about the homeless in the area and that has led to the police involvement.

    The correct answer to this issue is to find a private property which is willing to take up the weekly charity. Given the number of churches nearby, that would seem to be an obvious solution.

  307. Carolyn Burgess Knott says:

    What has happened to Raleigh..? Things have really. Changed…the city that I lived in for many years and loved.

  308. Brandon says:

    I was homeless in Raleigh for years and it was not a very warming experience. It really helped when people came out to show that they cared by feeding me/us. Most of society had written me/us off as pests, like cockroaches of the community. God has brought me out of homelessness, after 9+ years and me and my wife have a ministry that we are trying to get support in SC reaching out to the homeless in the area. The City of Raleigh and Wake County have some serious issues to try and prevent people from helping those that they don’t want around…what, do they want them to commit crimes to get food and put them in jail, do they want them to feel even more worthless than they already do and commit suicide, as I tried to 3 times while homeless? This is a disgrace.

  309. Craig Austin says:

    I know there are several churches in the area. They need to open their doors to this activity.It looks to me as if the developers have gotten to the Mayor.She apparently is a sell out to that crowd. I think this needs to be challenged. The headlines will look great on the national news. Feeding of the Homeless is stopped by the police in downtown Raleigh. NC has had some terrible press lately and this just adds to it.
    I think attendance at a city council meeting is in order.
    If I were a business considering moving here I would reconsider and move to a state that has a heart.NC is not the place for you. These clowns do not speak for all the citizens of the state. This attitude has to go. Please take your business to a state that is considerate to all it’s people.

  310. gary49 says:

    ok so you are out there doing a good service feeding people .and big brother wants to say you are doing something wrong.by feeding them . you are keeping them from standing on a corner or in front of a store begging.seems to me that the officer had nothing better to do .you should ask the local tv or newspaper to do a story on this cause the city and the police should be ashame we can help other countries by sending money and food but can’t feed our own homeless and hungry what ashame.

  311. Mike says:

    The proper response to this is to DO IT ANYWAY, let them arrest you, and CHARGE YOU, see what they charge you with, and then CHALLENGE IT IN COURT. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding nonprofit legal organizations to take your case.

  312. David M says:

    I’m not religious at all, but feeding the people, helping those less fortunate, that is a no brainer. And anyone should be allowed to do that unhindered. For what it’s worth, I would go to jail for this with a smile on my face. Look the judge in the eye and ask them what went wrong here. And if necessary, repeat this process every year. Do not let this go. I certainly would – passively – always find a way to feed them.

  313. Mark says:

    I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong, that LEGALLY you have the right to know the reason for your arrest, and if untold, is an unlawful arrest and quite frankly, grounds for legal retaliation. Maybe it would provide a broader public view on this horrible act of “justice” (heaviest of sarcasm) by the Raleigh law enforcement.

    I’m definitely going to do what I can to contact my district representative and city council on this matter. It’s completely morally and humanely irresponsible.

  314. Chuck R says:

    Ironic the police officer is holding a cup of coffee while tell the volunteers they can’t give coffee to the homeless. Another example of police not being required to protect or serve as per a 2005 Supreme Court decision.

  315. p mcneill says:

    I do hope the powers that’s behind this , understand that the work of feeding the hungry is what the Lord ment when he said” For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat ,I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, some of the people who are being fed are more than likely folks who went to war and fought for you and I. Think on that!!

  316. mike says:

    Feed them out of a downtown church.

  317. chris casey says:

    my brother who spent 3 yrs homeless in raleigh, in an out of halfway houses and rehab, he always spoke of the groups who gav out food in moore square. i think with this new mayor came a push to move the homeless out. not good for visitors to see them as they make their way to the upscale restaurants and bars. i will call and write to let my thoughts be known. god bless for all you do.

  318. Cameron Texter says:

    Maybe the police should have arrested Governor McCrory for giving out cookies.

  319. Denise says:

    Do you have a church? Why can’t you distribute the food out of your church? ( Just asking )

  320. Lynda Hellen says:

    I was born in Raleigh in 1947 and raised there. I have lived in CA since 1976. I get homesick sometimes but this is not the Raleigh I am homesick for. I might as well stay in Los Angeles. Seems it is more civilized here. Prayers for your homeless and this situation.

  321. Sez Eye says:


    Your shout is purposely misleading, in that it tells everyone that the entire state took this action. The reality is that it was one city in the state and they didn’t make homelessness illegal, they moved them out of their downtown area. Do I agree how they addressed the problem? No, but their solution is bad enough that you didn’t need to lie about it also.
    You must be a progressive, lying about thing to make it seem worse that it is simply because you don’t agree with it is a typical tactic. Linking to information that disproves your lie simply comments on your intelligence.

  322. Kenny Felder says:

    Twice a year, my students and I put on a soup kitchen at Cornerstone, at the intersection of Hargett and Snow. It is a very familiar location to the homeless community, and the staff have been very supportive of our efforts. While I agree with you that the laws should be changed–and I have shared a link to your story and written emails to the relevant people, as you suggested–this may also be a way for you to continue to do the work you do.

  323. LisaC says:

    The more you feed people like this, the less they will even attempt to do for themselves.

  324. Sharon says:


    Is this Raleigh’s solution or Raleigh’s quick way to make someone else happy?

  325. Jason Bedard says:

    The issue is that these officers are working for the oath to preserve, protect and defend the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. Our rights are protected by the Constitution for The United States which was granted to us by our founding fathers. The act of 1871 established this and by 1971 all local and state govts are subject to corporate dictate. The US Corporate Regime trains officers to see citizens as enemies and terrorists if they challenge their authority. Citizens and appointed church officers should carry tazers, pepper spray, batons, hand cuffs and video cameras if they are involved with these unconstitutional corporate authority figures. Clearly ask what laws you are violating in a firm a directive tone. These corporate officers will use verbal and physical acts to get you to surrender your rights. They are only interested in pursuing the administration of the Admiralty Courts not the Civil Courts. Since this is such a concentrated area for them it would be well advised to use property not under their jurisdiction. Know how your rights are undermined by this , prepare, take action appropriately. We will overcome and prevail. We are the people.

  326. pat says:

    quite frankly the organizers and the hungry should have kicked the cops asses

  327. Matt says:

    I would like to understand – is it illegal to give food to any of my friends, now? Or must we do this only behind closed doors? What are the parameters of this new dystopian system? Can I be arrested for offering someone a piece of gum? Can I offer my dog a treat? And what about children? Can we feed children?

  328. I am more and more afraid of our government every day ,they control ,our food supply of which Monsnto and GMO’s are being forced on us . they control ,our water ,medicine -and have all our money /and the weapons of mass destruction –The rules they make are out of control the police kill people everyday wrongly /and the public is told it was justified ,and most people except the answer Murder by our Police force -as Okay. Not much we can do about it we elected them and now they rule.I pray for Peace and wisdom to come to people in power-sad for the most part it is not there.I really hope for this issue to be fixed and the homeless fed ,they were really wrong for not at least giving a weeks notice .that would have been smarter ,they did this because they wish the poor will leave their town ,no food for them and they are forced to leave,the rich do not like the sight of the poor.May God Bless America to have a revolt over our own Mafia Government one day-for now good luck and Peace be with you

  329. Rhoda Ann Newell-Hardin says:

    I am praying for all of you and this ….absurdity. Keep doing the right thing! I wish I could do it with you. I just taught in our S.S. Class this morning, we, Christian Americans, are quickly losing our rights to be Christians. Fro sure though, they can’t lock us all up!!!

  330. Enid Baggett says:

    I wonder what Gov.McCrory was doing when he put his famous plate of cookies out in the street for protestors. I guess he thought none of us was intelligent enough nor educated enough to know about the famous quote” Let them eat cake “. He did not want any of us to realize what he was referring to. What else was he doing but trying to insult us under the guise of feeding the hungry on the street.

  331. Wesley says:

    Is this the true McFarland way for this city coming out???

  332. Niall Sheridan says:

    Take your choice – hand out food in city hall or at police headquarters. Just make sure every person you normally feed turns up and let every media outlet know. You have to stand up to unjust laws. Other option is to give every poor person a penny and let them ‘buy’ the food!

  333. Teresa says:

    Why not attend a City Council Meeting and ask for the passage of a new law or ordinance that allows church organizations to distribute food? Consult other churches to see how they have done this, legally, without exorbitant
    costs. Many church organizations have confronted these challenges before. Please consult them and see many solutions. God Bless you!

  334. Barb Lee says:

    Growing up as a child I did not have much (poor)but whatever we had if someone needed help we did what we could do to help . This is really scary when in the Great USA and the loving state of N.C you have to pay to feed someone that is hungry.I struggle now being disabled ,but everyone needs help sometimes.Not every one is rich and a lot of hungry people have great back grounds ,they just fell on hard times. i am sure they do not want to draw more people .But what will this do ?Praying that someone has a change of heart.

  335. Grumpy says:

    Failure to follow an officers instructions laws were intended to aid the police in restoring order after an incident or to prevent one from occurring. They were not implemented to allow cops to make up laws as they go along, yet almost daily I’m seeing examples them being used for that purpose..

    I’m also seeing a lot of people, law and order types like myself losing faith in law enforcement agencies. All to frequently we’re seeing reports of heavy handed, unnecessary, occasionally borderline criminal and sometimes fatal abuses by LEOs.

    This story deserves some circulation- I’ve posted a piece about it on my website

  336. Rachel Jones says:

    @Walter Stockhecker I like your idea a lot!!! First of all they do not have the forces to arrest 50 ppl at the same time. Id love to see them do that.

    @Angie I can not believe you would even say such a thing! How rude! Hugh, Maggie, and anyone else at Love Wins does what ever they can if it is passing out food or giving them a shoulder to cry on. If we would have gotten locked up we would not be able to do anything until we are out. No food, no solutions, no caring hugs, no love, just bars in a window and money wasted to bail out…. IF we even have that kind of money.

    About the situation that has happened. Everyone’s knee jerk reaction is to be angry. I certainly was VERY angry. However, anger isn’t going to solve anything. We need to orgenize, pull together, and figure out how we can fix this. The officers are certainly getting all the heat, but really someone else with power and money pulled the strings to have this enforced. The officers could have been nicer sure, but in reality they are just doing their job. They have gotten orders to enforce this. Do you honestly the military guy behind the red button wants to kill ppl when he presses it? No I dont think so. He got an order and he has to carry it out. This thing is way bigger then a police officer being a prick. People dont want to look at the poor homeless in the park or anywere else… people with money have the power to make them leave… you ask why? I tell you why… If you dont have to look at it its not reality. If its in your face you have to deal with it. Out of sight out of mind.

  337. finally. says:

    Thank you Raleigh Police Department from putting a stop to this in Moore Square. This is long overdue.

  338. george t lindsey says:

    The Mayor, city council, and the police dept. have found something they can do together. As fat as they are they should donate their breakfast to these people on week ends..

  339. finally. says:

    “Crazy world we live in, when we care more about how we look to the outside world than we do about loving and caring for one another. I am from England and from that perspective Rayleigh is not looking like an attractive place to live in or somewhere I would like to visit. A town or city is made attractive by the people that live there, not by how clean they keep their parks.”

    And can you tell us more about how the homeless are treated in England? Hypocrite.

  340. Anita Harkess says:

    Since the police would not tell you what law you would be charged with breaking, it’s clear that they were making up laws that do not exist in order to intimidate you. This is illegal and would not stand up in court, but police do it all the time, knowing that they can arrest you on false grounds, and you would go to jail until bailed out our until your court date, and you’d have to pay for your court defense (or try to defend yourself) and most regular folks are not willing or able to do that…but some people are. I say you should ask around for a specific kind of volunteers: those who are willing and able to be arrested, go to jail, and go to court in protest of this illegal abuse if power. Also ask for volunteer lawyers who can represent or at least advise those protesters when they are arrested. (This is a great case for pro bono work, and many lawyers will be as outraged as the rest of us are.) Then send the protesters out to feed the homeless just as you always have.

  341. joy ezell says:

    Get past the cop issue
    And it doesn’t matter if they are homeless or illegal or both they need
    Food to eat…
    But by the grace of GOD go I

  342. Dawn says:

    Here’s what I think. You are going to transform this insidious policy because of your heart, dedication, and perfect alignment with what is right. You have a lot of integrity and are completely immersed in creating a beautiful possibility, and from this you will create that you can continue to feed those in need of these meals. Beyond that, I’ve no doubt that you will help create a movement. Hoping this goes viral and while this crazy policy (if it even exists) is being changed, that those with the means to offer up a space will do so. Love and gratitude for what you have chosen to do with your life.

  343. Donna says:

    Can you Hold a breakfast BBQ? in the park and invite all your Friends If you have been helping most of these people for years and you are hosting the BBQ who is to say that they cant Bring a guest? or two?

    and if it is weekly meeting of friends perhaps a few people who know how to help people find jobs and housing could be there as well. and you know that newspapers love to report on Big get togethers. have them come. let them see how Nice it is to have a wide and varied group of friends to meet with each week and catch up..

    In other words re-name your weekly breakfast and if the setting is one that the cops will have a problem with finding a legal way to arrest you the better..

  344. Ernestine Cobb says:

    This is totally cruel and ridiculous!! I suspect that no laws are being broken! Some people, who look down in the homeless, may one day find themselves in the same shape!!

  345. Ernestine Cobb says:

    This is totally cruel and ridiculous!! I suspect that no laws are being broken! Some people, who look down in the homeless, may one say find themselves in the same shape!!

  346. joy ezell says:

    STOP worrying about the cops!
    But by the grace of God go I

  347. Doug Larson says:

    Perhaps the city officials should read St. Matthew 25:41-45.

  348. E says:

    The officer said he wouldn’t even discuss the matter. Police who don’t ask questions about policies are frightening. People who blindly follow orders without question are a danger. The SS Officer and The Nazi Officer never asked questions either and that policy didn’t turn out well now did it?

  349. Venita Peyton says:

    This is both sad for the recipients and disrespectful to the nonprofit. For any who would throw stones at the homeless, please remember that some suffer from medical challenges (and could be war heroes).

    I plan to follow up with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

  350. bryan says:

    I would break the law and feed them anyways. But then again…that’s just me.

  351. Mark Stoltz says:

    It seems obvious that the powers that be have sent the word down the pipeline of authority that you must cease and desist. The next city council meeting should be interesting if you and your organization members seek the podium to address them. I would not blame the police officer(s), as most of them are just following orders. Did the local newspaper report this? Local TV news?
    The council will undoubtedly be bombarded w/ concerned citizens.
    Simple questions to ask:
    Where is the ordinance that prohibits this?
    If there is one, why was it not enforced in the past?
    Who made the decision that enforcement should commence?
    Are there exemptions, if so who qualifies?
    Pointing out how many children are fed can’t hurt.
    Chose your spokesperson wisely.
    Get as many Pastors, Priests and Rabbi’s as will come to speak.
    Last but not least, stop and get a dozen donuts and offer them to
    the cops. Maybe they will look the other way.
    Very good luck and peace be with you.

  352. Kimberly Watson says:

    I think one perfectly good method of getting people fed is to offer to give them a ride, load up 2-3 people in the car, drive them a block or two down the road, and feed them inside the car. It’s what I would do. Although the author is correct – unless there is clearly a case of the law being broken, there shouldn’t be the need to fight this case at all.

    No kidding – after growing up in Raleigh since the 1970’s, I had moved back to the area 6 years ago and had planned to stay there permanently. Three months ago we moved to Gainesville, FL. Can’t stand to see what has been happening in NC/Raleigh. I hope every single person that has been angered and affected by the farcical government now in place VOTES in 2014.

  353. Nancie Ligon says:

    I am appalled! We are moving to Raleigh in October (from Sonoma, California) and had high hopes that a progressive, metropolitan, diverse city such as Raleigh would be less “owned” by cold, unfeeling Repugnicants (aka Republicans). Alas, such would not seem to be the case. It’s a terrible thing when bureaucrats decide to punish the down and out for being in a helpless situation. Keep up the fight, and know we will be happy to help once we get to Raleigh. This is totally unforgivable and voters should oust the council members and the mayor as soon as possible.

  354. I run a non profit supportive housing agency in NJ called Advance Housing, Inc. Most recently in Hackensack, NJ, they have started arresting homeless people. I think this requires a national effort to inform lawmakers that the cost of arresting people is far more expensive than investing in supportive housing. Some claim they are tired of homeless advocates taking tax dollars without any benefit. I couldn’t agree more. So invest in the programs that do make a difference and benefit the community. I am tired of our tax dollars going to a lot of things that don’t work and only wind up costing me more money.
    And as I have said multiple times, these types of reactive responses are made without facts. They are emotional responses to the squeaky wheels. To continue the analogy, eventually the spare tire will not work and e entire vehicle is useless.

  355. Jill C says:

    In an unjust society, where else should a just man be found, but in prison?

  356. Bogey Robinson says:

    Perhaps bring donuts next time,, bet the cops would accept those,,, So I guess if I’m eating lunch there I cant share a bite or part with a friend…I think Id take my chances and be arrested and let it go to court. I was a cop once but it was things like this that made me quit.. So hope all works out…Go to court I can’t beleive a judge would fine you and if so I would ask for the citizens of Raleigh to donate the funds and I bet you’d have plenty every week…

  357. Austin says:

    Follow the money. Either someone wants to profit from what you’re doing, or you’re costing someone money. A competitor of the place the food comes from, possibly. Someone who has the town council’s ear is perceiving a loss due to your activities. That’s where your problem is coming from.

  358. Kenneth says:

    Someone saying they were “just following orders” is not a valid defense. Never has been. Any human knows what is right and what is wrong, so I will not accept those words from anyone.

  359. mark james says:

    when you did not feed them for fear of arrest, you became complicit in their hunger. YOU left them hungry, not the police. civil disobedience is necessary in the battle of immoral law, and in this, you failed. How many will go hungry as you attempt to navigate the system that creates this poverty in the first place? get arrested. let your spouse get arrested. let your pastor get arrested. let your neighbor get arrested. bring so many supporters that the police cannot arrest them all, and feed the hungry. anything less is fear over love.

  360. myonjof says:

    News travels fast and this is quite disturbing to say the least. We also have what has morphed into many churches and groups doing the same thing at Center City Park in Greensboro, NC. We have been serving 150-200 people every Sunday morning for the last 4 years. We have a good re pore with law enforcement to this point, but it doesn’t sound like that is the problem. I am going to call myself and try to get to the bottom of this as well before this makes its way west.
    I know hind site is 20-20 but I think we would have let them arrest us because unfortunately, I believe more good would have come out of the publicity.

    With the research I have done so far, it seems that the amount of homeless and less fortunate in the public eye is proving to be an embarrassment to our legislators and policies. This combined with complaints from local area businesses? Just a hunch… Please keep me in the loop and feel free to give me a call with any news or incite.


    Mark 336.402.4058

  361. Jim Halliday says:

    How about using a food truck. Maybe someone would let you borrow one. In Chattanooga we had the Cheeseburger Man who would drive to the local shelter and give out cheeseburgers from his car. He never got out. Legal here, maybe in your town. The beauty of a food truck is it is portable and you can go where the people are. The city should be thankful that the churches do this. How about the city stepping up and feeding the homeless.

  362. Regina says:

    Ridiculousness!!! This sound like another attempt by the City of Raleigh to corral the needy and keep them out of public sight. The “livable streets” plan that the city has does not include those who cannot provide the city with a positive cash-flow. People like the ones who have events that people walk around drinking alcoholic beverages (openly), throw their trash all over (even though there are trash cans provided) and then get into their cars and drive home after having consumed multiple (alcoholic drinks). Slowly but surely, the city streets are being made “livable” by “TAKING” the property of of those who cannot afford to holdout and fight for what is their’s and transforming it into un-affordable for those who’s appearance may not be desirable. Keep promoting your christian spirit because in your hearts you know that you are doing what is right. I’ve witnessed this first hand. Raleigh has a twisted perception of an individual’s worth…..I’ve witnessed this first hand also. I have grown tired of Raleigh’s ways and have relocated. May God continue to allow organizations like “Love Wins Ministries”, “Pan Lutheran Ministries” and others who promote a true christian spirit to continue to prosper.

  363. Jimmy Hill says:

    Why wasn’t the gov arrested for passing out cookies?

  364. So, has the prospect of being arrested detoured the mission of feeding the hungry? Granted, I’d rather not be arrested, but if it comes to that or continuing to feed people who are hungry, it’s an easy choice.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’ve linked an article to it on my blog (http://worldhappenings.info/2013/08/raleigh-nc-feed-the-homeless-get-arrested/)

  365. Joseph Fleeman says:

    You have the MEDIA do a story on this, NAME NAMES of the officers, and who you talked to at the police station.Then find out who GAVE the porder for the police to stop you, you make SURE their name(s) are spoken on tv AND radio and appear in the news papers.This way the people can vote out these homeless hating money mongerers and get some decent people in there who CARE about the people they are SUPPOSED to be taking care of.If they want to get rid of homelessness, they need to get rid of drugs and bars and night clubs.

  366. Matthew says:

    The real question is what changed so suddenly and who made it happen? The police were in the wrong for not explaining why it was suddenly illegal.

    As for continuing with the work these people do, there is are 3 churches around the square. If the city won’t let it happen on public property any more, then do it from one of the churches. Unless they make peaceful gatherings illegal, the city can’t say a thing about what happens on the private property of the churches.

    Easy fixes and it should be easy to find out why they can’t do something anymore that has been happening for years.

  367. Joseph Fleeman says:

    You have the MEDIA do a story on this, NAME NAMES of the officers, and who you talked to at the police station.Then find out who GAVE the order for the police to stop you, you make SURE their name(s) are spoken on tv AND radio and appear in the news papers.This way the people can vote out these homeless hating money mongerers and get some decent people in there who CARE about the people they are SUPPOSED to be taking care of.If they want to get rid of homelessness, they need to get rid of drugs and bars and night clubs.

  368. JakeB says:

    I am not a Christian and follow no organized religion, but I applaud what you folks were doing and are still trying to do. The actions of the Raleigh PD is absolutely deplorable. Keep up the good fight and don’t back down to the fascists!

  369. City officials and policemen sometimes see homeless people as a burden on society, or a drag on property values. They often forget that these are people too, people just like them. God is no respecter of person, regardless of our social status, we are all equal in His eyes! I will say a special prayer for this ministry, this city, and these people whom you serve. May God be with you and put a bay the evil forces that are trying to prevent this righteous work from being done!

  370. Jim Halliday says:

    Have you considered using a food truck. In Chattanooga we had the Cheeseburger man who gave out burgers from his car near the downtown shelter. Never got out of the car. Legal here.
    The city should step up and provide food.

  371. Anna says:

    I came across your post through a friend. I am saddened to hear what happened. I was curious to know what ordinance the officer may have been citing (I was able to find something and was also appalled to find that a few other states had something similar). I also noted the amounts ($800) for each permit to use the park. I was wondering where you got these amounts from/if these amounts were provided to you by the officer.
    I apologize in advance if this is information you are already aware of, but i was able to find some information regarding community center and picnic shelters. Although they are not free, it may be a temporary fix till such time there is a resolution. The links are: http://www.raleighnc.gov/arts/content/PRecRecreation/Articles/RentalInformationPicnicShelters.html and http://www.raleighnc.gov/arts/content/PRecRecreation/Articles/RentalInformationCommCenters.html .

    Also, I think I may have found the ordinance the officer may have cited but my question re: the specific amounts still remains. It seems to be an old ordinance (from 1998) and I’m not sure why the officer chose to enforce it at this specific time. (I have copied the citation and the specific text of the ordinance below).

    I am only providing the information below because it was mentioned in the original post that everyone wanted to sort this out without skirting the current ordinance. Renting out a space is a temporary fix, but the information below may shed some light on how to appear in front of the city council re: changing the code itself.

    But, according to the city’s website “The City Code for the City of Raleigh serves as the laws of the city. The City Code started in 1792 when the City of Raleigh was first chartered. The Code is adopted by the City Council and can only be changed by the City Council. There are an average of 5 code changes during each City Council meeting.”

    The meetings in September will occur Tuesday, September 3, 2013 City Council 1:00pm and 7:00pm and then Tuesday, September 17, 2013 City Council 1:00. The Raleigh’s city website also a petition that can be submitted to appear before the city council.

    The codified ordinance is Sec. 9-2022. – PERMIT REQUIRED FOR CERTAIN USES OF PARKS with the specific text being:

    (b)Distribution of food prohibited.
    No individuals or group shall serve or distribute meals or food of any kind in or on any City park or greenway unless such distribution is pursuant to a permit issued by the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Director.
    (c) Application; information.
    The application shall be submitted to the Chief of Police and shall state the name of the individual or organization and the name and address of its principal officers and of its directors or other governing body and shall also contain such other pertinent information as may be required by the Chief of Police in order to clearly identify the organization submitting the request and the individuals principally engaged in the conduct of its affairs. The request shall state the use to which the public property shall be put and the date and hour for which the use is requested and the expected duration of such use.

    I hope you reach a resolution and are able to continue to support the homeless in your community.

  372. Robin Russ says:

    I’ve written to each council member and the mayor.
    I can give you Jeff Bridges’ assistant’s contact info if you
    write me offline. Good luck!

  373. kay taylor says:

    Shame on the Raleigh police dept. and whoever suddenly started to sic them on the church crew feeding the homeless. DOES ANYBODY THERE HAVE A BRAIN?? I grew up in Apex and have lived my live with the US military overseas. I am ashamed to be a North Carolinian IF the local authorities don’t get some common sense and a backbone, apologize and give those poor people some food.

  374. Peggy Alphin says:

    I am a shame of the City of Raleigh, if they are refusing to allow the homeless and hungry to be feed. Can any city councilman please explain the harm this is doing to the city. God help these council people. One day they might need food before they leave this world. WAKE UP CITY.

  375. Barry Seebo says:

    No matter the good intentions of what you are doing, it is against the municipal code of Raleigh. As a former law enforcement officer, I can say that there are only a few commonly used laws which we know the number, and wording of. We generally have a cheat sheet book to make sure that the wording is right when writing a citation or arrest report (any deviation can lead to a not guilty due to a technicality). However, this is part of the code for Raleigh, specifically Division II, Part 9, Chapter 2, Section 9-2022(b) which titled Distribution of food prohibited, which states “No individuals or group shall serve or distribute meals or food of any kind in or on any City park or greenway unless such distribution is pursuant to a permit issued by the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Director.” Just because he couldn’t quote it like I just did, that does not mean he did not have the power to avoid it. Apparently according to the municipal code this has been in place since 1998, so it is not new, you just got lucky for the last six years.

  376. Kevin says:

    Paul wrote most of the letters of the New Testament from prison.

  377. Marilyn Slate says:

    Why in the world would loving people who try to follow the rules, not be allowed to feed a hungry person. I imagine that police officer was able to go to Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s & get something for his hunger pangs along with a good cup of coffee.
    Somebody, take pity & tell these homeless where they can go get some food on the weekend.

  378. Suzy says:

    Does Raleigh have a Dream Center? Local Churches should come together to fund one to mirror the LA Dream Center if not. Dream Centers can address so much in the homeless and less fortunate community. Birmingham and Atlanta have one and they DO make a difference.

  379. John Burns says:

    Before we start calling for people to be ousted, can we first determine what the situation is? You’ll be hard pressed to find a more progressive mayor than Nancy McFarlane. There is an issue to be addressed here, and a much larger problem to solve, rather than merely ameliorate the consequences of, homelessness Raleigh.

  380. Dinah Bays says:

    There are no words to express how utterly disappointing this story is. Hungry people any day is gut wrenching but to be forbidden to feed people on Sunday is beyond. I wept reading this story. I pray there is a way:)

  381. Martha Smith says:

    Lots of political agendas these days and everyone “offends” everyone else by saying or doing something they don’t like!! Politics aside, it is not our place to judge the homeless or the police officers doing their job. I agree with one who said to pick them up and take them somewhere else. I know there are legal issues there as well, but not taking the chance to be arrested. Maybe to the park and add some praise music and a message of hope in Christ. As long as we are truly doing God’s work and not trying to stir up controversy (while using His name, which really upsets me) then He will reward us! Very nice of you to do this though and I will pray for God to lead you. This whole ordeal may be a blessing in disguise!!

  382. Bob says:

    This is terrible!

  383. Kris says:

    Why is “finally” so happy that people aren’t being fed and that the church was shut down? I can only assume that “finally” has never been hungry before.

  384. Jimmy Hill says:

    Very sad day for NC being in the Bible Belt and all.

  385. Lisa says:

    The news of this is certainly spreading rapidly.
    Raleigh’s mayor, Nancy McFarlane, commented when a mutual friend posted this link on FB. Here is her comment, it posted at 10 AM on Sunday morning 8/25/2013:

    Nancy McFarlane -This is news to me. I cannot imagine why, after 6 years, the police have changed their policy on this. But I am sure asking the questions to find out why!
    5 hours ago via mobile · Like · 3

  386. willow says:

    I am a current resident of Raleigh, but I was once homeless. Honestly I think the answer would be to feed people at the church. I used to like it when I could to a church, get a small meal no questions asked, and be able to eat on the lawn or picnic table. I understand why the police are enforcing that, because the city does not want to be held accountable for any illness or mess. Thank you to all.

  387. Karen in Oshkosh says:

    I sent emails to all the members of the City Council using the two points you made: A)Why are organizations, such as Love Wins Ministries, being prevented from feeding people in the park, when the City of Raleigh has no means of or plans to feed them? and
    B)I encourage you to allow said feedings to continue as they have for six years.

    I hope it makes a difference. Is there a church with a parking lot to help you?

  388. seems everyone is commenting from a “one sided” account of what happened……for those who are religious and commenting on this event using the bible….give a man a fish or teach a man to fish( they said they were doing this for 6 years)……oh, the people in the pictures, I am very impressed, the homeless has such nice and clean clothes…how many of those people are really homeless?????

  389. michael hall says:

    i would like to think that if i was there …i would have looked right through the cops,and started feeding the people, those american citizens…Wouldn’t Jesus to command each of us to do the same..?

    JAMES 2
    Dear brothers how can you claim that you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ the lord of glory, if you show favortism to the rich people and look down on the poor people? If a man comes into your church dressed in expensive clothes and with valuable gold rings on his fingers, and at the same moment another man comes in who is poor and dressed in thereadbare clothes. And you make a fuss over the rich man and give him the best seat in the house and then say to the poor man; “You can stand over there if you like or else sit on the floor.” Well this kind of action casts a question mark across your faith -Are you really a Christian at all? This shows that you are guided by wrong motives. God has chosen poor people to be rich in faith and the kingdom of heaven is theirs…But you are breaking this laws of our Lords when you favor and fawn over them; It is SIN…

    Come to think of it what is on the plaque at Ellis lsland in NYC? …mm..””Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the(HOMELESS), tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

  390. I have sent an email to every name on that list. I hope it is of some help. God bless your work.

  391. Danny Hunt says:

    It seems to me that this action goes against the Freedom of Religion in N.C.

  392. Bruce Caudill says:

    The police shold be ashamed of them selfs. Forget the law and feed them anyway. Freedom.

  393. Mark says:

    @Nancy Ligon. You could have stopped at repugnant. It isn’t a political party that cares for people more than another. They are interchangeable in the policies that they make. An ad hominem argument like yours serves nothing, but animosity. It diverts the focus of everyone from helping people to ingratiating ourselves to a broken political system.

    Perhaps YOU do something to feed those people and create jobs for them. That would give them dignity and meet their needs.

  394. Dennis Hunter says:

    You ask,
    “how many of those people are really homeless?????”

    What would Jesus Do?

  395. JosephG says:

    The author of the article asked people to be respectful in commenting and inquiring, but I barely read three or four posts before the name-calling started…I’d like to feel a little more empathy from the commenters, please, for the folks who are trying to feed their neighbors. I admittedly got a little angry, myself, when I saw Lisa C’s comment, “The more you feed people like this, the less they will even attempt to do for themselves.” I have actually searched for studies, either clinical, historical, or in any way supported by facts or evidence, that support this conclusion, and have found none. Can the author of this comment please provide something other than anecdotal references to explain the logic that results in such a deduction, and perhaps provide some suggestions for solving this problem rather than casting aspersions and blame upon those less fortunate and the people who are –at least– trying to help?

  396. jesse says:

    to occupy that park with any type of service a permit is needed. the solution would be to use a church, instead of the park

  397. No Coincidence says:

    So you’ve been doing this for six years with no problems but suddenly, this year, since the start of the near weekly “Moral Monday” protests in downtown Raleigh, suddenly law enforcement has a problem with a crowd of people gathering downtown, regardless of the reason?

    Connect the dots on your own.

  398. Pat Makowski says:

    Get the media involved in a BIG way!!! Get this out on the wires over the U.S. and abroad! They’ll be singing a different song. I would also mention the officer’s name.

  399. Brent Christensen says:

    This is the e-mails I have sent to various of the individuals above.

    Dear Mayor Baldwin

    Regarding the apparent cease and desist order, which has caused the discontinuance of your worthy, community-minded Christian citizens and their affiliated Churches, of ‘Love Wins Ministries’, from distributing weekend sustenance to the Poor, Homeless and Needy of your community.

    Matthew 25:39
    ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

    Matthew 25:40
    “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
    Matthew 25:41
    “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;…”

    Proverbs 14:31
    ”Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

    Proverbs 19:17
    ”Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”

    Which hand will you be on, Right or Left?

    By the way; Holding Public Office as a ‘Public Servant’ does not exempt you from this admonition; nor should it interfere with the ‘Separation Issue’ to allow it to continue; having set precedent over the intervening time that it has been occurring, with no demonstrable detriment to your community, by their following ‘understood’ rules of conduct.

    Even being Agnostic or Atheist does not negate the Founding Father’s secular declaration of all American’s inalienable right to ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’. I am sure the poor and homeless are not all happy with their situation and an empty stomach only exacerbates the problems for them.

    Please rethink the order to not allow these worthy folks and clergy, your constituents, the duty of serving their fellow men, women and children, who are still your constituents as well as heavenly charges.

    Regards from a Concerned Citizen:

    Brent Christensen
    Omaha, NE

  400. Stephanie says:

    Is that not the “People’s park”?

  401. Sharon says:

    I am really and truly becoming past sick of hearing the comment, “They don’t look hungry; or homeless”. Is it wrong for a homeless person to try and look the best that he/she can? I know of homeless people who actually do their laundry in the sinks in bathrooms at restaurants. How dare we judge those who are less fortunate than we? “They don’t look homeless”. Wow. Could we be any more cruel? Oh yes…we could deny them food when there are people out there who are kind and generous enough to offer the food.

  402. As a full-time volunteer (I quit my high school teaching job to do so) and board member of MYHouse (a non-profit that serves homeless youth, ages 14-24), I am appalled that the residents of Raleigh would tolerate this policy. I sincerely hope you are able to get the support you need to change the attitudes towards homeless there in Raleigh. And as a believer, I think I’d be abiding by the words of Peter in Acts 5, “It is better to obey God rather than men.” Maybe it will take jail time for some sweet little old church ladies to cause Raleigh to be shamed into change.

  403. Karen Rhodes says:

    Get in touch with either the Southern Poverty Law Center or the American Civil Liberties Union. This is just unconscionable!

  404. Emma Smith says:

    I think that is only right to feed the hungary. you,s are doing wrong, but it is ok for the cops to go in stores and have free donuts and coffee,is ok, god bless you people who try to help people from hunger.

  405. Jean Leonard says:

    this is absolutely unbelievable!!! How can you forbid a person to give food and drink to people who are standing there and are hungry? What is going on in North Carolina recently? Many of the things that are being done are making North Carolina look like a place that the majority of people definitely do not want to live or spend their money there. Instead of going backward 50 years in their actions, why doesn’t the state take the lead and step out front in efforts to improve people’s lives!!

  406. Betsy says:

    If your church or any church with you has a bus, put the people on the bus shut the door and feed them. As long as you are parked according to the law you can do whatever you want in your vehicle. Where there is awl there is a way. Ask the Raleigh Rescue Mission if you can setup on their property. That is private property and if they say yes it’s a done deal. The city council and the so called Mayor should be ashamed. The police should be too with as many things that they ignore that are illegal and harmful.

  407. Keith Blevins says:

    @ Mary Rossettini – Regarding this:

    ” I think this requires a national effort to inform lawmakers that the cost of arresting people is far more expensive than investing in supportive housing. Some claim they are tired of homeless advocates taking tax dollars without any benefit. I couldn’t agree more. So invest in the programs that do make a difference and benefit the community. I am tired of our tax dollars going to a lot of things that don’t work and only wind up costing me more money.”

    It is all about making money. Affordable housing projects aren’t profitable enough for the 1% and their enablers. Prevailing wage laws and competitive bidding make them fairly unattractive to the predators capitalists who control our political system. There are far larger profits to made from private prisons and prison industries labor. Sure, it costs the taxpayer more and gives them less humane results, but there is big money to be made in incarceration. The poor must be turned into a profit center for the elites, just like everyone else.

  408. Dan says:

    For those of you bashing the police and the officers, and stating that they be named and embarrassed, you are not helping the situation at all. The police are not the problem. They are doing their job. These officers were told by their superiors what to do. There is clearly a law that someone made them aware of. It is their job to obey and enforce the law. Is the law terrible? Probably. Does it need to be changed? Probably? But, it’s not the police that your anger should be directed at. It’s not even the current council. WHO WROTE THAT LAW? Calmly contact the council and start the process of getting the law changed. Do it the right way. Don’t insult people who are just doing their job and trying to take care of their families? Are you suggesting they disobey their orders and put their jobs and their families at risk?
    Direct the issue to the right people who can actually fix it. Stop blaming the wrong people and calling them names.

  409. Bessie Tadder says:

    Have the people meet you at your church every weekend and feed them their the cops can not do nothing about that cause you are on Gods land . That’s What I would do I have know a lot of church’s doing that cause of the cops. and if the people can get there have someone pick them up and bring them there so you can still do God work and they can still eat.

  410. Laura Schembri says:

    Hey volks,

    i was reading this and i coudn’t believe it. I am sure it is not against the law to feed homeless people.
    I am german and I am glad that the homeless population is not such a big problem in my country but I know it is one in yours.

    I am begging for humanity …. it is not right in so many ways…

    I know the officers are acting on orders, but please make sure that the people get some food.
    And perhaps you can find a lawyer oder someone who know the law, because when someone arrestes you… than you can speak of religious persecution and in that moment you are political prisoners and in that case you can call amnosty international… i think… better i hope.

    Because when people all over the world helps you… perhaps you all get a chance…



  411. DM says:

    Very disturbing … unbelievable … on top of not helping …they get in the way as well.

  412. Karen Casey says:

    Poor N.C.,yet another step in the wrong direction.

  413. Jason says:

    I want to commend you all for your reasonable service, I pray The Lord sustains you all and makes every provision necessary come to pass. There are forces working against the good we seek to do all the time (Eph 6;12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”) but my prayer is that you remain encouraged. I might not be in Raleigh, but whatever I can do to help, I will certainly offer my assistance. Who knows, this might be true in other cities and I think it might be worthwhile for us to check into it. Thank you all

  414. Magnetra says:

    The only thing I can think of would be the laws that make it so that you have to be certified by the food department in order to feed groups of people that you don’t know. Even groups that you do know over a specific size. I agree that it shouldn’t be a problem because they are feeding the homeless but even the groups that do it regularly have to have the certifications for safety reasons.

  415. J. Corley Ackley says:

    @Kimberly Watson. I truly feel your frustration. My husband and I have so wanted to retire to NC, and with all the regression and oppression currently taking place in that once beautifully progressive state, we started rethinking those possible plans. But, once my anger calmed down, and I started using a clearer head, I realized that caring, decent people need to remain, and those who were thinking of relocating there should go ahead with their plans. If so many people abandon NC, then there will not be enough people to stand up to the oppression, and the oppressors win, and their power will completely over -run the state. Although we refuse to relocate anywhere until either our grandchildren are grown, or their family relocates east of NM, when one or the other happens, we will go to NC, as we refuse to be kept out by intimidating thugs taking control. If there are no rational, caring people left in the state, then the future of the people of the state is truly in peril.

  416. Shellie says:

    It’s illegal to feed the homeless without permits and health department inspections of food prep sites in my progressive coastal California city of Santa Cruz too. The powers that be seem to subscribe to the theory that feeding ‘them’ just encourages ‘them’. Encourages ‘them’ to what? Eat?

  417. Rude Mike says:

    This is an absolute disgrace! I have never been so ashamed of my state! Helping the needy without tax payer money…. you’d think the government would be grateful.

  418. Jeff Saginaw says:

    After talking with numerous friends about this, I am concerned why this has become an issue only recently after having been going on FOR YEARS!!

    Why NOW?

    Could the issue be that the police have been instructed to “be forceful” in all situations regarding the homeless, vagrants congregating in downtown areas? Is it an issue of city officials portraying the city as “not having any homeless”?

    Is it a problem that the church goers, all dressed up in their Sunday best , are offended by the very people they contribute money to feed?

    Is this yet another instance of Magic Pat and the GA posse issuing directives to the police as to how they are to “dissuade” the local population from congregating with the “unmentionables” of our society?

    I’ve got news for Magic Pat, he’s about to have 170,000 more people looking for food in the next 6 months so he may want to reinforce that steel fence around the mansion. He may also want to look into an alternative location to live because he may be confronted every day by the very people HE PUT ON THE STREET!

  419. Susan Autrey says:

    Why on earth did you let yourself be intimidated by police? They are YOUR employees. Go there now and feed people. Right now. If they arrest you, get arrested. It’s not a big deal. I’m sure you’re a swell guy, but come on… Rosa Parks did not move to the back of the bus when she was asked by police. And hundreds of others (like me) get arrested every day for standing up to bad laws. This is the only way to force the issue through the courts. This is the way the system is set up. You have the moral obligation to feed these people, AND you are on very solid legal ground doing it on public property, with 6 years precedent. Recognize that this is your time to take a stand. Take a deep breathe, and go do it!

  420. Mark Kieswetter says:

    Art Pope is your problem. Here’s Bill Maher addressing the issue. Starts at 1:40. Rough language, but it answers the question, to a degree anyway.


  421. Is there a church near the area that will let you use their property?
    I work at a soup kitchen in a church. It’s been there 32 years; many Christians from many other churches help with this mission of mercy. The police won’t bother you there.

  422. Amy Reese says:

    I would call this white on white crime! What is happening to our humankind? God help them all!

  423. PK Hamilton says:

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.”
    Romans 13:1-5

  424. Audri says:

    The simplest way to find out what law you are breaking is to get arrested, then they will have to charge you with something.

  425. anon UK says:

    Hi. This Is just an idea, as this is something we do in the UK to get around the same problem you are having. We use are churches. Would it be possible to set up what we call Coffee mornings in your place of worship? (given a number of them are helping) And you are giving it away not selling it. This might be something worth looking into.

  426. Tom says:

    You cannot be Christian and support this kind of garbage. The homeless are our brothers an sisters. Those who support the law forbidding the feeding of homeless and destitute are going straight to hell.

  427. Kim says:

    I don’t think it has anything to do with feeding the hungry or the homeless. I think it’s just a liability. Honestly, if you feed someone and they get sick or have an allergic reaction who is responsible? It’s a wonderful idea but I think you need a license for giving away or selling food. There are guidelines that must be followed etc.

  428. Kyle says:

    As a Durham County resident, but a frequent of Wake County, I can assure you that this type of behavior is not uncommon for the Raleigh Police Department. They are well known for their incompetence and are almost undeniably guided by their corrupt moral compass, or lack thereof. I have reposted this on Facebook and it is on the front page of Reddit if I recall correctly, so hopefully this can get the support it needs.

  429. letha butcher says:

    My heart breaks-What has our country come to when we have a choice to feed the homeless or go to jail. WWJD? God Bless those who fed the homless 6 yrs with out any officer telling them they can’t. I will be calling each number listed tomorrow and give my opinion in a Godly way. I don’t care what these humans does they need feed and the are God’s Children. We too could be homeless sometime and soon. Many American Veterans are homeless they went to war to protect our nation now because they are down we keep pushing them treating them worse than trash ( we should be ashamed. That young man or Lady on drugs could be your child. They need the type of love Jesus gives to bring them home. There is NO reason to treat others like this. Remember LOVE and Kindness is the greatest gift given to us and it covers many sins. The word of God tells us to feed the hungry give a helping hand. This story needs on NATION NEWS. God Bless the Homeless touch them protect them hug them as only you can. Christians wise up and do your part. It is a commentment from from our Lord. Thank You Please pass this story to all your friends ask them to share it. Speak up for those who can’t help themselves. God will bless you and them too.

  430. I do not even know what to say, I am so so horrified! Since when did compassion become a crime in our state?

  431. And please don't come back says:

    Maybe if these lambs of god cleaned up after their breakfast buffet, they would get less complaints. You want to use a public place for your own personal, religious activities, make sure you keep it usable for ALL of the public. Residents clean that park of their own accord at least once a month and by monday it’s completely trashed. How is that fair? I have a sneaking suspicion that the people who “do the work of jesus christ” by feeding the homeless don’t live downtown and therefore don’t care that it looks like a dump after they leave. People say it’s inconsiderate of the police and city government to make them stop, I say it’s inconsiderate to trash a public space and use god as a scapegoat. Stop whining.

    Also, separation of church and state. I for damn sure don’t want another conservative, christian republican taking away more rights from the people of North Carolina. Good riddance.

  432. I like what you are doing and hope you succeed! Such a strange world. In my town the police gives away free hot dogs on a regular basis! Anyway I just wanted to mention to u that it would be nice if you had a vegetarian or maybe turkey option option since a lot of people don’t eat pork.

  433. Michael Cox says:

    My prayers are with you ,this is so wrong, if one of those cops needed food what would he do. Just like the scriptures says when you have fed or clothe you have done this as if you were doing it do Jesus himself. Christians are being pressured in all ways to stop what we are doing or saying. IT’s TIME TO GO HOME !!!

  434. I emailed everyone on that list. Even up here in the middle of Alaska, I am concerned with how this was handled. And…I shared it with my 800+ Facebook friends.
    Good luck,
    Georganne, human.

  435. Maria says:

    This is so wrong – especially when it is a TRUE act of LOVE! I will pray that this is restored and that the State of NC is needed of many prayers. Everyday people are loosing too much and to have one small meal may be all they get for days!

    Godbless this mission and I hope we can find a way to beat this block!

  436. fjjb says:

    churches are separated from state by our constitutional laws..=== hello hello…
    talk to fast food places tat will allow a time,place to set up a drive for the hungry.at the senior places, the fire dept..at churches.
    lets all smell the coffee together as we stroll along park avenue..

  437. Sharon Pruett says:

    This is the most atrocious thing I’ve heard recently. There is a LAW against feeding people??? All of a sudden? When you’ve been doing it weekly for 6 years?? I guess they want to put them in “internment camps” like South Carolina now. This is evil in its purest form….to deny food to hungry people…for WHAT reason. The food was there, the people were there….but you were not allowed to give it to them??? WHAT is this world coming to? I am overwhelmingly sad and ashamed of the human race at this point!

  438. Jamal Parker says:

    Let me start by saying to the followers of christ! The lord will not put more than you handle on your back! If the cops wanted to arrest you for feeding the homeless, they would be in violation of their oath to keep the peace! They wanted to start an uproar because they know they could not have stopped you from feeding those people & still had their jobs in the morning so they used scare tactics! The police was clearly the ones starting a disturbance with the nonsense of stopping those who are literally trying to minister to the poor and unfortunate. Ministries don’t always come from the poolpit, & Jehovahs witnesses shouldn’t be the only religion to minister to the public. I’d like to say thank you to those who we’re trying to help these unfortunate people , too many times I’ve seen society leaders & elite turn their noses up to the poor & unfortunate but as soon as someone from their family is hurt or a misfortune happen “WE THE PEOPLE” have to sit & listen to their cry’s & constantly be shown the incident all over the news or even worse bail their crooked butts out of a dilema! (Corporate bailouts, higher taxes for wars that have nothing to do with AMERICA) If it we’re me I would have still fed those people in a public place! Public property speaks for it’s self! IT’S PUBLIC PROPERTY! It’s mighty strange their police chief didn’t chew them a new …hole for pulling a stunt like that! But just wait GOD don’t ugly & he’s not too crazy about pretty either! Those cops will have to answer to GOD for sure, I would like to see them arrest GOD for punishing them! Oh I forgot the police don’t believe there is a GOD existing in this world!

  439. Karen Bowman says:

    When you do this because of religious belief, they are violating your religious freedom rights. We had this when we organized PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) for overnight shelter in the winter. We wrote letters pointing this out to our mayors and it cleared it up on that level. They may have a problem with location. We worked hard to make sure the fears of our community were respected so that we could continue serving our Lord in this way. God’s blessing on you.

  440. Christopher Buckley says:

    Probably people who live in and business owners complaining of disorderly conduct and of the mess, which was was likely left behind. Sure the homeless should be fed but if you were a business owner how would you like the homeless hanging out in front or behind your place of business, urinating, defecating, passing out drunk, fights and other shenanigans often associated with the homeless. The cops are probably sick of dealing with the nuisance which likely remains long after they are fed. If you want to feed them feed them on church property, why “take the show on the road”?

  441. Betty Neal says:

    It seems that in order to exercise our freedom of speech or religion, we have to be arrested. It then begs the question, what freedoms are our soldiers defending? Or are they just defending those in power so they can act as they will without any concern for the folks they supposedly serve?

  442. Meredith Hunt says:

    A simple google map check shows at least four churches nearby Moore Park. Where are the churches? Why not use church space?

  443. Lorie says:

    The police officer was just doing his job, if there is such an ordinance, don’t be mad at him. His job is to uphold the law, so lets see what can be done to change the law.

  444. Stacey says:

    I think it is utterly ridiculous that feeding the homeless is a against the law. What other of our civil liberties will be taken away under what guise. American is slowly becoming a third world country. Pray for us. No longer GOD Driven.

  445. Doug Koenigsberg says:

    I commend the city in this action. Church folk need to be told that showing up one or two days a week with food only makes the folks doing the “feeding” feel good. Let them show up with a bus and take the homeless to their church for some real food and fellowship. And maybe a shower and a chance to do some laundry. You know, to really, really be Christlike. The homeless are not like a flock of pigeons to be fed for amusement, without regard for the real effects of such an effort. Love didn’t win here, because real love isn’t about winning.

  446. Diana Gardner says:

    Are we not called as Christians to reach out and help the homeless, hungry and those in need. It is pretty sad when people are being arrested for doing just that. Following what Scripture in the Bible tell us to do. Doing what GOD has instructed us to do.

  447. DTR resident says:

    Why can’t you move it to your property at love wins ~ 10 blocks away?

  448. Celia Sloan says:

    My prayers are with you and the hungry people you feed. This should not happen in America!

  449. Laury Dyson says:

    I don’t understand why your soup kitchens are closed on the weekend?..you are not allowed to use their property on the weekend to pass out food?what law closes the soup kitchens and halfway houses on the weekend?..

  450. Steve says:

    I posted this in the Raleigh Facebook page under recommenndations, also as a comment to an article of what a great place Raleigh is. You can embarrass the heck out of the city by finding creative ways to post this on their own Facebook page. They’ll probably delete them, but not before people see them, and you can always repost, LOL.

  451. megan sublett says:


  452. brother dave says:

    Bring donuts for the cops…….win/win lol

  453. Nancy Alborell says:

    I’m not sure why the use of a public sidewalk would be illegal. Isn’t this a violation of the Declaration of Independence?

  454. Vincentjohn says:

    Why didn’t anyone call a lawyer at the spot to check it out. If there isn’t any law that say you may not feed homeless people then the police could facing a big problem by bringing them to court for attempting an innesend arrest.

    The police do not know the law. They are just execute them. And most likely the police do not know all the laws so they are making their own law.

    Do not use only your mobile to make videos but use your knowledge to make sure this will not happen again. Because you have rights and you may stand for your rights.

  455. Lee Parrish says:

    I cried when I read this post. Oh what has this world come to? Can’t feed the poor?
    Who made this decision? Do they go hungry? I think NOT. I am telling Glenn, and many others.
    How about our Governor? Does he know? If not he should. Fix this problem, now. Feed the people

  456. chuck says:

    The person that made that law should ask themselves where would I get my next meal if I lost everything I had?

  457. Joanie says:

    I simply don’t understand. Under what circumstances, if any, is feeding the hungry legal?

  458. Randee Huber says:

    Have you contacted the ACLU? Seems like they could at least find out what ordinance is being disobeyed (if any), and what it is you would actually be arrested for. If there is nothing on the books that they can use to charge you, then they can’t prosecute you.

  459. Mary Gowland says:

    There is a big church downtown on Hillsbourgh I think it is The Church of the Good Shepherd. They have a soup kitchen at 11am everyday. You might contact them to see about setting up in front of their place to do the weekend giving…

  460. Jennifer Roldan says:

    Wouldn’t make better sent to used of the church halls to do this, much like how a soup kitchen runs.

  461. Shannon says:

    As I sit here and read some of these comments I think You must not have ever been homeless or low on money or without a job.. you sit here and type you messages about being harassed or asked for money or they should have picked up their trash. Climb down off your high horse. I hope that you never have to experience what they go through day in and day out. Do you think they like being hungry or homeless? Worrying about petty things they do, Please find a legit argument like they attack people or they walk up to you and cuss you, you all should be ashamed of yourself…….Adults pay attention, do you want to know why there is BULLYING in schools, they learn it from their PARENTS, they see you make fun, talk down, or turn your nose up to people in need…STOP IT! I will pray for your souls

  462. Julie Stoneham says:

    I worked with the homeless professionally in Raleigh for 2 years to help them get their needs met. Many of them are grateful and thankful for anything anyone does to help them, even a pair of sox. Many of them I have seen get employment, a place to live, or the disability they so need to survive due to mental or physical illness. But there are so many that still need our help. Taking them out of Moore square might seem like a good solution to make the park better, however, they still need a place to go, as we all do. The shelters do all they can to help them, if they are willing to help themselves. But it is a process that takes time. So what you do for them and other religious and secular groups is so important to make a difference in the lives of people who are just that, people, just happen to be homeless. I wish others could walk a day in their shoes. Today was a bad way to handle the situation. It caused hurt to your ministry and the homeless waiting. Another way for them to feel let down in life, and I applaud you willingness and tenacity to continue to help them. I am with you in prayer.

  463. Barbara says:

    This is a sad time. It makes me ashamed to be from North Carolina when we are not allowed to feed someone that is hungry. I can not imagine looking at a child that is hungry – who knows I have food, and tell him ‘no’. It breaks my heart.

  464. johnk says:

    This is as bad as the police telling a 10 year old they can’t sell lemon-aid and close her down. The church is giving food away free. As far as I am concerned no laws have been broken. Call it a picnic. Pathetic

  465. Agnes J. Frye says:

    I commend you for your following the commandment of Jesus to “love your neighbor as yourself.” It is difficult to believe that, in our state, we cannot feed the hungry without retaliation from the “powers that be.” I will keep you, your organization, and your fellow volunteers in my prayers.

  466. Rebecca says:

    I agree there is a problem with the homeless in downtown Raleigh. However, I work across from Moore Square every day and I see the “homeless” smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, talking on cell phones and even an occasional laptop. Please explain how they can afford these things but can’t afford a sausage biscuit!!!!!!!!!!!! You should also have to walk by them every morning and afternoon having them ask for money and when you say you don’t have any to spare they talk so ugly and call you all kinds of names.

  467. judi says:

    Simply put parks are part of the public lands, taxes pay for maintenance and the property. Everyone who lives in the city homeless or not gets to use them. What better use for them than to feed the homeless and care for them. These are the rights of all the people, not just the wealthy or working. Let the people live by the rights of the constitution and use the public lands. Parks are for picnics and gathering of friends and families. Use them as that. You are friends of the homeless.

  468. Jerry says:

    Sounds like we need to do a moral Sunday!

    By the way, when is the City of Raleigh going to enforce Parking laws on Sunday?

  469. j.e. hoist says:

    we winter in bradenton, fl. this year kinda the same thing happened. a couple set up a place for kids near the skateboard area along riverwalk and had done it weekends for awhile and suddenly they were told by police they could no longer do it. they werent charging or anything just a kind loving thing to do. it kinda makes one wonder if no one higher up has ever been hungry or given to anyone. or even heard of the concept of giving!!!

  470. sw says:

    Will be passing this story on! I am a Republican and not happy with what some of our elected leaders have done recently. There seems to be an all out effort to rid Raleigh (maybe even the state) of those who suffer mental illness, substance abuse, or are otherwise unable to support themselves, all for appearances and bringing in the almighty dollar! I have worked in the field of mental health for many years and have seen this coming for a long time. THEY DON’T WANT SERVICES TO BE ACCESSIBLE TO THE HOMELESS IN AN AREA WHERE THEY ARE TRYING TO ATTRACT THE WEALTHY! Out of sight out of mind. I am thankful that these ministries exist where they do. The area I serve is mostly rural and there is only one shelter in our entire county. We have some local churches willing to feed the hungry and sometimes the individuals cannot get to these churches because there is no public transportation available for them. Someone or some group in Raleigh has pushed this issue and probably offered something to sweeten the deal. SAD DAY. I hope the community there will come together and find a real solution. For whichever one stated “teach them to fish.” You are right, but they need their basic needs met first so that they aren’t just trying to do what it takes to survive the next day. They can’t focus on learning something new while they are hungry.

  471. Terry Wyman says:

    Do it anyway, if you and friends get arrested, get a trail by jury, I am quit shore you will each and every time be found Not Guilty,

  472. Salley Cooper says:

    I am horrified that this situation could arise in America! On a day dedicated to Martin Luther King and his legacy, this action is inappropriate and cruel. It is cruel every day, and as a Christian I believe its perpetrators are headed straight to Hell. What would Jesus Do?

  473. Sharon says:

    I think Mike is correct in that if the homeless and hungry aren’t publicly given a hand-up, the “people of privilege”, whether it’s legislators, financial “stake-holders”, or intolerant residents and business owners, won’t be confronted with the reality of Americans in need when they rant about Socialist policies. They won’t be burdened with the least twinge of guilt when they fight to eliminate programs that provide assistance. They can continue to support agendas that benefit their selves, and their financial peers, to the detriment of all others. Remove the evidence and maintain a clear conscience.

  474. Tim Krupa says:

    I was dismayed and very disappointed when I read this article this morning. I hope you will look into this and put a stop to this situation immediately. A practice of feeding the homeless that has gone on for 6 years, certainly should be allowed to continue.

    When I have traveled to North Carolina on business and for pleasure, this is not the North Carolina I found. I guess the community is changing. Recent racist and misogynist laws passed on the state level and now this action in Raleigh are very disconcerting and speak to a community of hate rather than one of openness that I had always found..

    This will definitely give me pause to any consideration for my next trip to your beautiful state.

  475. Gary Dowd says:

    First – in response to Mr. Chrisawn – does it matter if they are all homeless or not? Not to me.
    This sounds like a great opportunity for the Mayor and City Council to show the public why they deserve their vote and support. If there are legitimate reasons why they would shut this down, please take the time to calmly and reasonably explain why and then help be part of a solution by working together with people who elected you to office to care for those in the community who are less fortunate.

  476. Glenda Jolley says:

    God is with you wonderful people. Hang in there. I believe with this publicity the officials will be sorry they did this.

  477. Jerry says:

    Sorry to here this, however across the country city Governments have been trying to stop Christians from following and practicing there faith. however if taken to court, they (Organization) gets an injunction that stop the city because their denying your freedom to live out your faith. Here in Kansas City been going out to the streets every Saturday for 21 years. Keep on Keeping on

  478. Joseph G. says:

    Make them arrest you next time. It will only serve to promote your cause and damage their image. The ultimate backfire. It’s been done before, it’s required civil disobedience.

  479. Pete says:

    You should have just gone ahead and fed them – you would have gotten 1000x more PR and support if the cop went ahead and arrested you. Next time do the right thing and don’t waste the opportunity.

  480. Connie Lucas in Cincinnati, Ohio says:

    Well, remind me not to move to snobby Raleigh, North Carolina where people don’t give a damn about other people. You won’t catch me visiting there because the atmosphere is not to my liking. And I suppose it’s against the law to help distressed travelers too!

  481. Harold M. Mitchell says:

    I cannot conceive of such a thing happening! Surely mayor and council will either change their position or provide an alternate place accessible to the homeless for your mission of mercy to continue.

  482. Brenda says:

    I commend you for your efforts, as a suggestion why not use the church fellowship halls to feed those individuals who depend on you? It is private property and the police can not dictate who enters GODS house. To Mike and Patricia Joy, there but for the grace of GOD, this could be you.

  483. M. says:

    While I am not a believer, I do believe in helping those less fortunate and those in need and I have to agree with a few of the other posters in that you should have just gone ahead and fed the people anyway and risked the arrest. With an arrest comes a charge and ANY decent lawyer (of which you could probably get an excellent non-profit behind this) could have this solved and be given actual reasons, guidelines, and ordinances that were or were not actually broken. The police in this country have been getting increasingly hostile and seem to have forgotten one little thing… THEY WORK FOR US. Our tax dollars pay their salaries for them to protect and serve. Sadly, lately, they are serving the far right corporate agenda. Protecting their right to be jackasses. They pepper spray peaceful assemblies, hit unarmed citizens with batons and beanbag rounds from rifles, and apparently now they threaten to arrest people for feeding the homeless and less fortunate. And the corporate agenda just wants all those dirty, homeless people to just go away. That isn’t going to happen if they keep taking over and telling people that they cannot help the less fortunate. That isn’t going to happen as long as people keep voting in those that continue to cut benefits to the less fortunate. These people work for us and it is about time people like you, who do want to help, stand up for what you believe in, be arrested if need be, and continue to do what you know is RIGHT. Regardless of the consequences.

  484. James Dicke says:

    The police should have been able to cite the city ordinance you were violating. Then you can work to change something definite. Is it 1 or 100 sandwiches that is the problem?

  485. Anne says:

    Seems to me, a church parking lot would need no permit. Set up an outdoor church service and call it a church breakfast.

  486. rosemary mitchell says:

    Something surely does smell fishy there! The police say “take it up with the city council” and the mayor and city council say they are behind the church groups. Sounds to me like somebody is lying. It would have been tempting to call their bluff and be arrested to see with what crime one would be charged. I think I would have a good attorney already lined up and go for it. That is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Are the involved churches too far away? Wrong, wrong, wrong.
    Good luck to you all!!

  487. Edie Bailey says:

    I am embarrassed to say I am a Tarheel with such behavior toward the poor. Perhaps it is a plan to starve people so they can’t vote. As a product of a NC Christian university I find it way off the charts from what I was taught is Christian behavor.

  488. Jill Johnson says:

    It seems city council is trying to “clean up” their park when in fact they are hiding the truth that raleigh, nc cant get it together by encouraging community outreach not forcing people to the streets. Wake up wake county ! You have enough tax base to assist the needy!!!

  489. Will says:

    IMHO, a statement could be made by having everyone in your organization show up to feed the hungry and allow yourselves to be arrested en masse. Flood the city’s precinct offices with people being arrested for showing compassion and doing what you’ve been doing for years. That’ll certainly stoke a response.

  490. bryan says:

    I doubt their is any law at all about sharing food. Their may be one for selling,but not giving freely. This goes against all acts of humanity and kindness. Their reaction is that of a communistic world,greed,power,control. I believe their names should be taken,a letter written to your state Attorney general,and see what happens. My guess,those dumb-cops will be next in line lookin for some help. Just pathetic idiots working for the government and showing abuse of power at its finest. :(

  491. Ken G. says:

    Mike, your comment about the government creating jobs is nonsense. When has the government ever CREATED a job, except government jobs like postal workers, VA staffers, and other bloated bureaucracy? Businesses create jobs. Government spending means that the government has to take money from people and that only creates poverty, not wealth. Get the government out of so much of our lives and let people work without oppressive regulations and laws, which only create unemployment.

    And, for the record, I think the police were wrong. It smacks of a police state.
    Don’t believe me? Look at how Obamacare is opposed by unions and how it’s creating part-time workers out of full-time jobs.

  492. Wayne C. Rogers says:

    I have to say that this makes me ashamed to call myself a North Carolinian. When my mother was dying of cancer at the age of 55, the Social Security Department in New Bern denied her benefits because they said she looked healthy. It finally took my Uncle Don, who was a minister in Morehead City, to go down there and beat his can on the ladies desk, saying she would go to hell for what she was doing and that the local television networks were being notified about this injustice. Unfortunately, that’s what it takes. You have to put the fear of God into them to get something right done. If you should go back to the park to feed the homeless, be sure to have a number of local ministers with you, as well as newspaper reporters and television cameras to film the arrest. I’m quite sure it won’t take long for President Obama to step in with funds to help give food to the needy and for the City Council to reason with regards to this. If if the city isn’t going to feed the homeless, then it needs to get them jobs so they can help pay the council members’ salaries.

  493. Sara says:

    You could start a petition on Change.org to petition the City to let you back into the park.

  494. Kelly hosmer says:

    I would hope that there was an attorney in the area that would take up your cause. The mayor and his cronies are immoral, self righteous pigs. There are no jobs in this country because OUR government negotiated them away 23 years ago when they signed the NAFTA agreement . Last month a bill in the house was rejected by a majority that would have given tax credits to companies who brought jobs back to the USA. Our own elected officials chose to not bring jobs back and to keep this downward spiral going. Stay awake and vote these “Christians” out of office for they have no idea what it is to be a Christian!

  495. Marvin says:

    Quick question or two….. why are they feeding the homeless unhealthy foods? And out of curiosity, why not help them find employment and in time, find homes instead of putting a band aid on a gunshot wound?

  496. Carolyn Fletcher says:

    Hello,I’m from Pennsylvania. Why do I care about what’s going on in Raliegh?? Because I am a Christian and Christ instructs us to help those among us who need our help,Because these good people are not breaking any laws,Because I have a granddaughter who lives in Raliegh and I care what happens where my family lives,because what happens there impacts their lives,Because it nauseates me the way anything Christian is fought against and the way anything else is tolerated,no matter how egregious it might be,Because I see the good in our country that so many people fought to maintain slipping away and Godless behavior taking over,Because what is allowed to be tolerated in one part of the country slowly spreads like a virulent disease to other parts of the country. God Bless America and may we soon all wake up and see what is happening!!!!!

  497. Gramoo says:

    I wonder…..if this were in a third world country, how many of our people would be encouraged to go feed the hungry? But it’s illegal to feed our own hungry? Looks like Satan at work!

  498. Debi says:

    I would have told them that THEY have to tell the people waiting that they couldn’t have the food and why. Looks like you had a lot of church members there. All of you should have each picked up a sandwich and gave them – at the same time – to the people who were lined up. Then they would have had to arrest ALL of you at the same time. Before you fed the people, I would have also called the newspaper and told them to get down there stat because there were going to be mass arrests of church goers who would be arrested for feeding the hungry. News like that goes very far, very fast. Secondly, I assume that because I see African Americans either standing there to give out the food or to receive the food, you should contact the NAACP or Al Sharpton to assist in giving out food next time.

  499. mike clark says:

    This is about the state having all the power over people to get them dependent on the Gov so those in power can move us ever more closely to Socialism

  500. Dan Leggett says:

    While I thank it great to help people. I bet when you started it was only a couple of people six years ago. Now once the word got out that there’s FREE FOOD its only time before their is a Thousand PEOPLE waiting in line. It doesn’t make them want to go buy something to eat. Two things would become of this. 1. Help out the local business owners. 2. Get people motvatied to get a Job to buyttheir on FOOD.

    Thanks Dan Leggett

  501. James D. Wright says:

    Contact Christian Law Association, They go to bat for harassed people or groups.

  502. Julie Albert says:

    Working on the assumption that Raleigh has a city attorney you should contact that person and have her/him explain what city ordinances you are violating. If the police threaten to arrest you for violating a city ordinance then the city attorney should be able to tell you which one. Then at least you may understand what your next steps would need to be.

  503. Christine says:

    This place is familiar like a second home to me. I used to work in the homeless shelter right beside Moore square; seeing others loving in the name if Jesus lifts me up. Thank you for being the light in downtown! But please be careful assuming why the jobless are jobless. Having worked there for quite a while it was clear that a large problem was not lack of jobs or skill sets, but a problem of the heart: many of them were caught in the cycle of homelessness that took away most of their dignity and then welfare took what little was left. Homelessness exists at all times regardless of a recession or time of plenty. Build these people up while you feed and love them, inquire what their skill sets are, beg them to see their value and their uniqueness that the Creator has given them. You have the unique opportunity because they will listen to those who are loving them, and that is what you are doing each weekend. Persevere! (A few well researched books to back up my words: “when helping hurts”/ “shut up and give”.). Btw, isn’t it strange that our govt. doles out excessive welfare, but doesn’t want the church to be doing it? Take back the job that should still be the churches’!

  504. Jim Wilson says:

    Weird how religious people vote for Republican politicians, but yet Republican politicians are who champion laws like this….you know….stop giving handouts to those lazy homeless people on welfare so they’ll go get jobs.

    You folks are in quite a pickle aren’t you?

    Feel bad for you because I know you’re trying to do a good deed here, but in some ways you only have yourselves to blame.

  505. Bo Gardner says:

    I guess it would be fine if you were to put the food in bags, place them in dumpsters?

  506. Idali Kwak says:

    Do it again and get a video with audio to post. It is so unbelievable that this happened, you’ll need verification.

  507. Cassandra Lee says:

    I can not believe how any one could stop others from helping any person that needs help in any way.. This town is going down like all the other towns any more,,they do not care for their own people and they do not want to be bithered with people that are down on their luck, May God help them, when them or their children need help and no one iws around to help them,,These are the first ones that will be complaining, I will pray for these city official and also for your group that is trying to do Gods work,,, Don;t let them stop you, I would bet they wouldn;t be able to make a charge stick I have never heard of any law any where that demands a person to refuse to help another person that is hungry,,, it is literally crazy and sounds like a power control tech, I am sorry but I would have feed them,, I could not turn away hugry perople,,,,,,,, never stop helping do Gods work

  508. Julz says:

    The fiscal polices of Christian Conservatives helped create ostrour current national financial challenges, resulting in greater numbers of homeless and hungry. Yet, and in total contradiction of the teaching of their Saviour, they wish to ostracize these poor and deny them even the most basic of human needs — food and shelter.

    And as Yeshua said “What you did for the least of these, you did for me” ; so mas they turn their backs of the poor, they turn their backs on Him.

    I volunteer with our local homeless shelter, and one of the most suprising things I’ve learned is that some homeless have jobs, but don’t make enough money to afford a place to live. They come to our shelter late at night, after working 2nd or 3rd shifts, often getting by on little sleep, as they must leave the shelter by 7:00 a.m. And many of the folks at the food bank also work, and make too much to qualify for food stamps, but not enough to pay the rent and also feed their families. They are playing by the rules, but the deck is stacked against them.

    And to those who insist on maligning them as deadbeat sinners, remember w that each of us is one layoff, one accident, or one serious medical diagnosis away from financial desperation…and the shelter and soup kitchens ourselves..

    And I’m sure you remember the golden rule…

  509. Anna says:

    This problem has occurred once before. We got around in another city by giving the homeless a note that stated that there would be a biscuit wrapped tightly and placed in another brightly colored bag in (or duct taped) or below the trash can or in various spots along where they are. They can pick up these bags between a certain time. Then we gave them a voucher for free coffee from a fender close by. That way it was cheaper and much safer.

  510. Deb Glaze says:

    There are people who have mental illness and can not hold down a job. There are drug addicts who also have an illness. Do they deserve to starve just because people do not understand them? How sad are these days that there is no love nor empathy for another human being simply because you do not understand their plight. Humble yourselves and open up your hearts… see these hungry people as children; because we are all children of God.

  511. Rickie A Smith says:

    How dare these police tell people who you can or cant feed. Do you realize how many people in the US are but a few paychecks from being homeless. I Love America but I hate was is becoming of it.

  512. Daniel Duane Spyker says:

    This seems to be the trend in so many cities. Those who are mindful of caring for the “least of these” are suddenly declared lawbreakers of one kind or another. My home church, an anchor of that part of the city for nearly 150 years, has in the last 14 years become a neighbor to not just one but 2 major sports facilities. And soon a third will be erected only a few blocks further north. We continue to serve the “homeless” on site regardless of the grumblings of the powerful and if it ever comes to it, are very experienced in civil disobedience!

  513. Jeff Bragg says:

    It should be noted that people filled with hate cannot be changed by love. Love shown to them will only result in making them more enraged and they will find people to hurt. If you want to stop this, vote them out of office. Then work to make them poor. Only then will they be able to experience and understand the pain they’ve inflicted on others. You don’t have to treat them as they have treated the poor. Poverty will do that.

  514. Mike says:

    The issues today will in no way throw a stick in the spokes if Gods plan. Tomorrows news will not be filled with stories of people who died because of not getting your sandwich. If funded by numerous churches then why name your “ministry?” Maybe the problem runs deeper than admission will allow?

  515. Robert says:

    Being the rebel that I am, I would have had to tell the people in line to wait a few minutes, call the local TV station WRAL and the Observer. Give someone my phone, show them how to make a video, wait for the news media, then start feeding the people. If any cop cannot tell you what law you are violating, has no right to arrest you. Sorry, they would have had to arrest me.

  516. Christine Millman says:

    I was wondering if maybe one of the churches could rise to the occasion and allow the 70 sandwiches to be fed from their parish doors or the parking lot? could that be a possibility while the other matters are being resolved? The situation seems really quite unreasonable, nonsense, void of any purpose to not feed the people.

    And wouldn’t past practice bring this “unwanted gesture of good faith” to its knees? I mean afterall, there’s been no complaining before – so why now?

    Sounds like such a waste of time. Maybe I will bring my camera to Raleigh next week.. sounds like there’s a revolution going on being led with hard hearted people who forget their peers brag about living in the “Bible Belt”…. it means something to most…

    I’ll be praying for peaceful and sensible resolution… think outside the box while the stand is being taken… these people still need to eat.

    God bless you all :)

  517. Kerrie Waddy says:

    Funny how the cop stand there while holding his cup of hot coffee, what a disgrace!!!

  518. Mary Gratch says:

    Almost 10 years ago I arrived at Moore Square with my sister and my children. This is a long tale but I’ll try to make it not so long. It was my 50th birthday. I was in the middle of a divorce and my now ex-husband was moving out that day. My sister was doing her very best to make it my day. We went to the IMAX and then went to Moore Square for cake – I was to act surprised. The scene was grim. It was January and rainy and the park had just been mulched with something that smelled much more like manure than like mulch. My sister told me to turn away as she tried to light the candles on my cake. A lovely gathering of people came out – they assumed we were bringing food for the homeless as is the practice in Moore Square. They lifted their jackets to ward off the wind and helped us light the candles. They all sang my 50th birthday song and we all shared in a really delicious cake. I am so very grateful for this memory – set me on a new and happy path. This is a lovely place and is a tribute to the way that those with much and those who are still striving can live together.

  519. Melissa Hathaway says:

    This is the craziest thing I have ever heard Hugh! What harm is it? I support you in all you are doing and will email and/or call those who need to know! Thanks for all you do and please don’t let this stop you.

  520. Patricia jackson says:

    That is so sad my friend an I was going to be feeding the homeless Christmas Day an I just seen ur post an I had to call her an let her no what was going on I just can’t believe it we trying to do GODS work an they want to stop it we are with u an I will be getting in touch with the City Council May GOD keep Blessing you all to keep doing his work

  521. Chip Cutts says:

    We have control. We have a vote. To those who will not allow feeding on the ones in need I say vote them out of office, or better yet, as a public servant they work for us, write them up and serve them notice. After 3 write ups they are automatically fired/impeached. We have the power, not them. We control whether they work or not. If they don’t serve the public as we see fit they can be dismissed and unemployed (maybe needing a biscuit and coffee on Saturday and Sunday.

  522. mike says:

    most officers in situations like this are acting on a direct orders.. they said for 6 years the cops had no problem with them there then suddenly there is an issue…. that tells me someone high up either in the police department or the city has decreed the feed of the poor is unwanted… the officers are the ones who have to face the people despite what they believe personally and they are the ones everyone sees and attacks for doing as ordered.. the ones that are pushing this don’t have to be in the spot light and don’t have to be attacked for it… remember. for 6 years these officers had no problem with this… this is a clear directive from somewhere. these guys are just sent to do the dirty work…!

  523. SR says:

    Welcome to the objectivist paradise of McCrorystan. Any kindness shown to the needy will be met with extreme prejudice.

  524. HurleyD says:

    Let me suggest another location that is convenient to the users of the South Wilmington homeless shelter, off-street and has a kitchen: the Hallelujah Soup Kitchen. 1904 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27603 (919) 995-2815. They do not operate on weekends. It is operated by God’s Helpers of Raleigh. http://www.gods-helpers.org/

    Or maybe you would like to make an arrangement with for the Church of the Good Shepherd on Hillsborogh Street. Likewise they do not operate on weekends. http://www.shepherds-table.org/

  525. Michael Davis says:

    The gov wants control of everything and they are trying to justify their jobs! Sad!!!

  526. J Hamilton says:

    Why don’t they feed them at the churches involved. Spread the word that on Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m. or whatever time, there will be free coffee and a breakfast sandwich. Many might stay for the morning sermon. Is there an ordinance against this also?

  527. Randy says:

    We were recently told at a Raleigh Baptist Association training event that the new rules were taking place shortly. The problem, as explained by the group leader, is not the feeding but all the trash that is left behind, thrown on the ground after the homeless gets done eating.

  528. pat griffith says:

    get more local support and get the permits – or raise the money for a food truck and permits …..can you get a bus and take them to the church for food ?

  529. Brian says:

    “Ultimately, they(the police) serve the interests of the Mayor and the City Council.” That a pathetic but true statement about police. They are to serve and protect the people. And as for the Mayor and City Council they should have at least the majority of community’s interest in mind that included homeless people. I will be mailing a letter from here in Ohio, written letter are harder you ignore.

  530. Dis Belief says:

    My suggestion would be to call the Police’s bluff and either go to Court and tell the full story there, or just get on with the job of feeding the homeless.
    While the area does not seem an appropriate venue for a soup kitchen – it will only devalue the area, a baseless bluff by Police strikes at the heart of freedom, which is a far more important issue.
    There needs to be a more remote area set aside by local government, in which the homeless can get a feed.

  531. Lynette says:

    Could you approach a few churches in the area of the park that might allow space for them to be served? Even a playground outside if nothing else is available. At least, until the city council can be approached regarding the situation because no one should go hungry.

  532. anthony whitley says:

    i applaud you in your efforts to help feed the homeless. i hope the people stopping you never see themselves on the other side but i pray they have the compassion to let you continue to serve god and feed the homeless.

  533. Margaret Casey says:

    We human beings, each and every one of us need food and water to survive. When someone comes along helping in the best way they know how, why would a city and its council members contest that!!!! I don’t get it. I just don’t. And I’m gonna do what I can to stop people who see no need to help others in need!

  534. Cynthia says:

    The Lord works in mysterious ways. Again, the Lord is gaining victory over attempted evil. There will probably be more hungry people fed in more cities because of the publicity of this article and the spotlight on the problem. With such a negative reaction, there will be no question that the majority of people want to help those less fortunate.

  535. Marshall Autry says:

    How many cops in Raleigh have had free coffee and donuts? What is the difference?

  536. paul says:

    I’ll write but the problem is very simple to solve. Continue like you have been, get arrested, and force them to reveal this’law’. My bet is that there isn’t one.

  537. Rober J. Moore says:

    I recommend that the city council members and the mayor try doing without food a couple of Saturdays and Sundays! They might must feel differently! There will always be poor, hungry, and homeless among us – Ignoring them doesn’t make them go way . I’ll pray Raleigh’s political leaders temper their future decisions with a bit human kindness. Not much of an example for southern hospitality and helping thy neighbor!

  538. Robin Borden says:

    I bet if the Raleigh police dept had something in the parking lot they would not have to get a permit for it.

  539. jill says:

    There are more than a number of reasons why doing this is not sound. Within a private place and food handlers license and security is one thing. Many wrong and dangerous persons could use this as a venue for dangerous activity. I understand the police doing this.

  540. kim Watson says:

    My family and friends use to feed the homeless as well as giving them clothes. Blankets,hat’s and gloves to prepare for winter and we were kicked out years ago by Raleigh police the same as u were. We need to change this GOD is not pleased my voice will be heard.

  541. Mela says:

    Why was there no heads up that this was going to change? People showed you to get a meal that they had received for over six years. Why did this become an issue now. Wake up Raleigh, North Carolina! Thank-You Love Wins Ministries for all that you do.

  542. Doug says:

    Just a idea.Find a church that would let them set it up and feed these poor folks….
    I’m sure the fine mayor enjoyed her 5 course breakfast and lobster dinner!!!!!

  543. Ruby P. Greene says:

    We feed(some of) the homeless on Sunday mornings at First Baptist Church 101 S. Wilmington St. You might be able to use out parking lot on Saturdays. Check with our Pastor, Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw, Jr.

  544. Connie Smale says:

    Shame On you Raleigh North Carolina Officials. Shame, Shame, Shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  545. Ken Gage says:

    I think the people of Raleigh need to remember all these names when re-election time comes and vote every single one of them out. ALL OF THEM If the board voted and 51% voted for it.. CLEAN HOUSE…. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING..!!!

    City Council At Large
    Mary-Ann Baldwin – Email – 919-996-3050
    City Council At Large/Mayor Pro Tem
    Russ Stephenson – Email – 919-996-3050
    District A
    Randall Stagner – Email – 919-996-3050

    District B
    John Odom – Email – 919-996-3050
    District C
    Eugene Weeks – Email – 919-996-3050
    District D
    Thomas Crowder – Email – 919-996-3050
    District E
    Bonner Gaylord – Email – 919-996-3050
    Nancy McFarlane – Email – 919-996-3050

  546. It would be nice to know why the sudden change after so many years. It may be an issue involving a religious organization using public land, and the city wants to avoid the costs of fighting some curmudgeon’s possible lawsuit. I suggest a local church might provide space, or even several churches might offer space on different days. Aren’t any local churches supporting you?

  547. Ken Gage says:

    Can All the Local Church’s host in order to feed… I know our Church has potlucks now and then but we are not in Raleigh.

  548. I agree with the Police says:

    If you come from churches, why are you asking for a building to do this in? Use your churches. It’s kind of a simple solution.

    It may be causing more of a problem, than creating a solution. I have worked and volunteered in a local ‘soup kitchen’ that fed people for free. Most of them were local people, who left their neighborhood homes, and were just to lazy to get food for themselves. Sure, somehow people really need help, but a large gathering of homeless vagrants may not be the best for a local park.

    Use a local church, or your local church if you need a place.

  549. Ken Gage says:

    The Mayor and City Council Respond to LoveWins Ministries’ Viral Blog: Feeding Homeless Apparently Illegal In Raleigh, NC

    Click the Link it tells more.

    Bonner Gaylord’s status update this morning:

    It has come to my attention that a group of good hearted individuals were turned away by Raleigh Police while feeding homeless this weekend. Something that has been a weekly tradition of their church for years now. I am going to speak with the Raleigh Police Department about this and find out what happened. It’s important for us to maintain a clean and safe environment in our city, especially in our parks. However, we cannot let those who are in the most need go without help. Thank you.

  550. Olivia Jacob says:

    SHAME ON YOU MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF RALEIGH, SHAME ON YOU. As you were enjoying a leisurely breakfast comfortable in your homes, an ordinance that you created kept hungry and homeless people from being fed.

    While the police officer who was talking with the team was drinking coffee himself, doesn’t that beat all.


  551. Al Jones says:

    I lived and worked in downtown Raleigh for nearly 3 years, watching many worked effortlessly each weekend for such an amazing cause! Its something I wish I could have unselfishly committed my time to. Boston unfortunately has this same law, but bigger cities allow for a bigger window of opportunities for food and shelter compared to Downtown Raleigh. I will definitely be doing my part, and contacting a Local Member tomorrow to help in the fight to keep such a Great Cause Alive!

  552. Jan says:

    I’ve noticed similar ordinances in my city that make it very difficult to pass out food in a public place. I wonder if a food truck of some sort would solve this problem. You could make it clear that it’s a business, charge a few cents for the meal and have a penny jar for those that don’t have it.

  553. jimmy says:

    look higher up the ladder , past the police orders handed down to. just think who? leads this State right now.

  554. Edna says:

    I am a member of Garner United Methodist Church (Garner, NC). I have been working, for the past nearly 6 years, in our homeless ministry, H.O.P.E. (Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement), each and every Saturday at the church. I was extremely hesitant to get involved at first, because just like so many other uninformed people, I looked down on panhandlers and “bums”! But getting to know upwards of 150 area homeless men and women, I can honestly tell you that many of them have become very, VERY dear friends whom I sincerely love and appreciate.

    Over the years, we have developed an ongoing relationship with 6 other area churches who partner with us to provide HOPE each weekend. Each Saturday is “owned” by a church group other than Garner UMC, but the ministry is held at GUMC. We send out church buses and vans to a couple of different pick-up points in Garner and bring folks back to the church. We also have many others who either walk in, bike in, ride scooters and a few actually drive themselves to the church. We serve 40-60 homeless every week.

    We bring them in, give them a chance to get a hot shower, a change of clothes (if needed) and serve them a hot, home-cooked meal, complete with dessert. Often we provide shoes, toiletries, tents, sleeping bags, etc., as these are available. Several times a month, local hairstylists come in to give free haircuts and we provide some basic first-aid type medical care.

    Until this current year, HOPE has been funded 100% by donations and contributions. This year, our church gave us a $1200 budget line item, but we still depend predominantly on contributions. This ministry has been a tremendous success in the Garner community and has the full support of both our church and our community. It takes up about 6 hours of our day, but the blessings and satisfaction that all our volunteers get makes it SO worth while.

    I’ve said all of this to get to this single point: WHY DO THE DOWNTOWN RALEIGH CHURCHES NOT SEE THE NEED AND SET UP A SIMILAR MINISTRY????? The majority of them are much larger that GUMC and could certainly provide a similar ministry for the homeless of Raleigh. That would alleviate the problem of trying to feed folks out on the street, which quite obviously, the “powers that be” in the city government, don’t appreciate nor approve of.

  555. Diana Douglass says:

    And a PUBLIC park, paid for with TAXPAYER money is supposed to be available FREE to all citizens of the state or municipality! What is this business of charging people FEES to use their own property?!

  556. RH says:

    I find the recent police state we are all living under to be very disturbing. My husband has lost his job 6 times in the past 5 years and has most recently been unemployed for 2 years. Our life has been a living hell. About 2 years ago I started cooking meals for the homeless in Raleigh out of my kitchen about once or twice a week. I could only cook about 5 meals each time, this was all we could afford, but it allowed me to feel like I was helping someone else in need who has even less than we do, and for the few people I was able to help, I know it made a huge difference. I do not distribute to large numbers of people. I simply drive around the square until I see people I think might be hungry, stop, and offer them the food. I have had a number of people question me and ask if it is *legal* for me to do this. Someone suggested there must be healthy codes that need to be followed. I responded that I am quite CERTAIN that my kitchen is a lot cleaner than the trash cans I see some people digging through for food. (in fact I am a clean freak so it’s pristine). My answer has always been that it would not be illegal for me to bring a bagged lunch for a friend I was meeting for lunch in the park, and so why is this any different? In fact, I have become familiar with several of the homeless people I have fed, and have received some deeply heartfelt hugs in return. I would consider them friends. I am horrified at the country we now live in. It is becoming a place I don’t recognize and am afraid for my children and their futures.

  557. FL Person says:

    In recent years, a similar situation happened in Orlando FL where “Food not Bombs” went to court to be able to continue feeding homeless in a city park. I believe the ruling from the 11th circuit court held that while the feeding was protected free speech, the City could use reasonable means to control it. In the Orlando case, the restriction ended up being only 2 permits per year per group.

  558. Robert Fallin says:

    “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

    It is time to punish the evildoers.

  559. M.L. Jones says:

    Is it against the law for people to picnic or take their lunch in the park? Seems like a perfect time for some civil disobedience. What in the world has happened to North Carolina? The homeless are not homeless and poverty stricken because they enjoy being destitute. They are Americans and have a right to exist and yes be seen in public. This is shameful and decidedly unChristian.

  560. Angie says:

    Ask Marbles Museum to open up their court yard at 7 ish and see if they will let you distribute from there before they open to the public at 9am. It’s right across from the square, it’s not city property, it’s not in their actual building (just inside the gates) and you’d be done by the time they open for business…. All it would mean is them opening the gates and you guys distributing the food earlier. Good luck!

  561. Raymond Tindell says:

    I say some brave soul should call their bluff, keep feeding the people , I doubt the cops could really point to any particular law being violated, and even if they could, good luck to the city getting a jury to ever convict someone

  562. Pamla Cimino says:

    My heart and prayers go out to you. I pray that the Lord will see you through this and will provide a safe and secure place for you to continue His work. Know that you do not stand alone in this for such things are happening all over the US.
    I pray the Lord will come back soon and set the wrongs to right. Thank you for all that you do to help those who have no where else to turn. I do not live in your area but do live in N.C. Take care and may Our Lord And Savior guide you in your steps. May He bless each and every one of you.
    Your Sister In Christ,

  563. N. says:

    “….. just like we have done virtually every Saturday and Sunday for the last six years. We provide, without cost or obligation, hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to anyone who wants one. We keep this promise to our community in cooperation with five different large suburban churches that help us with manpower and funding.” Just putting this out there, but if there is a problem with using the area you’ve been using up till this point, why don’t you move your ‘operation’ to those ‘five different large suburban churches’? I’m willing to bet that they would be more than happy to offer their facilities each week to help in the distribution of the foods, and it would be easier to bring the needy inside when the weather turns inclement! Not only that, but the authorities cannot touch you, if you were to do this. You can’t fight city hall, as the old saying goes, but you can change where you view it from!

  564. Douglas Barbour says:

    I think I know why they have started doing this…You said that they where revitalizing Moore Square.. So the first thing they need to do is get rid of the homeless…This is what they do when they take a place that the poor live and turn it into a place for the rich…All the politicians care about is Tax Revenue…The more money they control …the more power they have …If they cared about people they would provide you with a place to do Gods Work…

  565. Debra says:

    It is a shame the good giving Christian people cannot help people that are not as fortunate. Are we becoming more and more a socialist country where we will be prosecuted for our religious beliefs?

  566. Glynis Burns says:

    I read this to a friend. He said, “I’ll wager a dollar to a donut that some of those cops have friends who are hungry, and won’t be fed. This will hurt them, too.” It hurts everybody when we deliberately make people go hungry.

  567. James Staley says:

    Never in my life have I despised the mindless minions of the state more. The moral bankruptcy of the two heartless thugs with badges in on par with the Gestapo, who also his behind the “law of the land” as they *hurt* innocent people in need.

    One day, those two officers will find themselves in desperate need of assistance, and I hope karma feeds them every bite of just desserts.

  568. jordanlund says:

    Why not partner up with the church closest to the park and feed them there? Hungry people can’t walk to a church? I thought the Lord helps those who help themselves?

  569. Karen says:

    We all need to understand that this is not an isolated incident. Other organizations across the country have been shut down in the same manner, with no explanation, no laws being broken. The first time I heard of it was an organization called Food Not Bombs back a few decades ago, however, this practice probably has gone on longer than that.

  570. Mina says:

    The world is getting harder, meaner, nastier. The rich see resources being used up by the ‘poor’ and they’re no longer even pretending to feel compassion. They don’t give a rats if poor people starve to death, it’s better for them in fact. More for the rich. If people don’t believe this is the way the world is going, they need to open their eyes a bit more.

  571. Janet says:

    Shame on Raleigh. I am shocked that a city as prosperous as Raleigh does not offer any weekend shelters! Smaller, rural towns with much less tax base find ways to care for people in their communities. Our own state capital should do the same. Without safe shelters, people are in parks and other unsafe places. Anyone who still believes homeless people are “just lazy” needs to get a grip on reality. The past ten years has changed circumstances for many people. We now have more homeless children than ever before. All many people need is some temporary help to get back on their feet. Shame on Raleigh.

  572. Sue Keller says:

    I don’t know if I would have had the courage to pass out food that day anyway and risk arrest. I like to think I would have……….What happened to the people waiting for food? What happened to the food? If God commanded you to feed the hungry but you didn’t because someone told you not to, can you face Him now?

  573. jimmy guthrie says:

    They try to do the same to us in St.Louis but we have learned different ways to get around them.

  574. Tammy says:

    Here is a solution used in our community. Our community is not nearly as large as Raleigh, but for the summer, when children do not have access to free and reduced lunches at school, the churches work together to provide lunches. On M, W, and F lunches are provided at one church. On Tu and Th, at another. The other churches and ministries in the community take turns helping at the different churches on the various days. Not only do they receive lunch, but they receive something for the family to prepare for the evening meal and something for breakfast, even if it is just Ramen noodles and a toaster pastry. It’s something for their stomachs. We are looking to provide a backpack with something in it for the weekends.
    The point is, if you already have churches working together to provide this ministry in the community, can you not set up on one of the church properties (or one on Saturdays and the other on Sundays) that has the best access to those in need? Allow the churches to still work together to take turns helping serve the meals, but use your own facilities to provide them. It works well here.
    Note: Last year, the Tu / Th church was new to this. We were lucky to get 12 people to come on the days we were serving meals. This year, we were serving 50 FAMILIES at each serving day. Don’t give up if it does not take off quickly if you go this route. People just have to get adjusted to the new location.

  575. Terry Ward says:

    I will bet a bag of dog chews that the local business association is behind this.
    They do not like to look at poor people.
    They consider it bad for business, especially if there are storefronts/shopping foot traffic in the vicinity.
    All they have to do is claim that this is hurting their business by alienating their customers and badda bing, you outta there.

  576. Rob DaVerb says:

    An atheist would’ve fed as many as they could before being arrested. You would’ve been released the same day and not likely have been prosecuted. Seriously… just think logically. I realize your belief system relies on fear, but you should’ve at least gotten the sandwiches to those in need.

  577. Concerned Christian says:

    I see that racism is back again. I wonder what would have happened if you were from a different church system????? When you are doing the work of the Lord: these ignorant people better be careful that they don;t find themselves in the same position as those homeless hungry people!!! What in the word would they have charged you with? I am curious to know. This need to be sent to News 2!!! They need to go get a donut in Jesus Name, and leave people to do the work of God!!!!

  578. Lynn Baird says:

    The City Council is the legislative branch of local government in NC. It enacts city ordinances and establishes policy. It does not enforce laws nor issue permits, and it does not have authority to order the police department to do anything. It can only refer such matters to the administrative branch for resolution. Subsequently; conveying complaints to the City Council will only increase the time to achieve resolution.

    The administrative branch managed by the City Manager handles permit issuance and law enforcement matters including officers and other employees who may respond inappropriately. Persons interested in addressing these matters should contact the City Manager, the Police Chief, or any other department head who is responsible for the enforcement or permits in question.

  579. Feed them and get arrested. An unjust law needs to be challenged. Organize a day where they would have to arrest thousands of people for feeding the poor, or handing out coffee.

  580. Rose says:

    If you can’t feed the people in Raleigh, then tell me why they allow people to stand on street corners and ask for money and food? I see them there every time I go to Raleigh????

  581. Jay Park says:

    i see many problems.
    the obvious yes, threat of arrest to feed the hungry.
    but the main point that is being missed is the fact they are using the name Jesus Christ for their act, in which many ways their act is unpleasing to God.
    1. they are turning God’s calling into a business,paying rental fees and mass ordering discounts to gather homeless on public monitored grounds.
    2. They use biblical scripture to prove authenticy and convince for donations. their response towards the arrest proves false religion. if God wants things to happen he will make it happen.
    but for them to take maters into their own hands to bargan with the officer for what is approved, with Gods money that is not even theirs to have the final say..
    its Obvious why God does not want them to mislead people.
    a true christian living in relationship not religion, would have faith to go ahead anyways even willing to accept arrest knowing God will make a way..
    its very sad honestly, i tell Christians all the time, look at the Muslims willing to die for their God as suicide bombers. whats your excuse to be merely arrested for yours? if there is no Faith, God is not with them.

    NOW, if they did not claim to be under Christianity, that’s another story.

  582. Jo Anne Brisset says:

    In New Orleans, La they have homeless shelters all over the city & a couple of them feed other homeless people every day who can’t get a room for the night. During freezes the city & churches try to find a place for everyone. The homeless can apply for food stamps too. Section 8 can help find some of these people find apartments at no cost to them including utilities. I know this fact because I know a few of these people. This city is known for violence but the city takes care of the people. I born in New Orleans but haven’t lived there for over 50 yrs. but I love the BIG EASY with all my heart.

  583. MWE says:

    I am sadden. In response to a few people that say use your churches, I am sure they are doing that as well. The issue is the people getting to the churches to get the food.
    A few suggestion:
    1. The location where you purchase the sandwiches. Maybe they will allow you to set up in their parking lot.
    2. Could you perhaps drive around the block and hand them out the window. (sounds crazy but could work)
    3. If you do use your churches maybe a bus to drive those persons to the churches.

    You are all in my prayers. I’ll keep the wheels turning and let you know if I come up with other options.

  584. Mary Miraglia says:

    What I suggest you do it, feed the people in a church. This is not subversion of the system, it is exercising your right as a religious institution to provide sanctuary. We went through this here in New Jersey some 25 or 30 years ago, when our Interreligious Foundation for the Homeless came up against resistance for housing homeless people one weekend per month, filling in a gap in shelter accommodations similar to the way your are feeding people.
    Perhaps you simply pass out the food in church, and then they leave, taking it with them. This will work, it will pass constitutional muster. Good luck.

  585. Bob says:

    Perhaps the homeless could distribute the food among themselves? It would be quite a sight for the police to arrest people who seek to avoid starvation. If arrested, these poor people would at least be fed in jail.

  586. Tina Thomas says:

    I would get a petition going. If they let you do it for the past 6 years, they shouldn’t have a problem with it now, unless the Mayor and City Council now have something against anyone showing an act of kindness. It doesn’t devalue property for you to do that. That is a crock of bull! I am sharing this on my twitter and I hope that this is resolved soon. As for you people saying they should go to the church to get fed, many of them can’t travel the distance that the church would travel to get to them. SOME are disabled. If you cared more about feeding the people as you did bashing the churches who are doing it, maybe less would be starving. At least it’s not your money covering the expense. IF the church is using THEIR gas and resources for this, there should be NO PROBLEM.

  587. sonya says:

    I bet some one of importance, at least in their minds, complained about all the homeless people in their park. It could have been a spoiled brat’s birthday that was “ruined”. Since you feed them and this elitist equates homeless people to be at the level of pigeons, take away the food the birds go away.

  588. Quinton says:

    Get arrested every week, flood the jails with decent people. Get a lawyer and file a case against the city. No one will notice this innocent unless something escalates. Jesus may have been peaceful but he was certainly not compliant.

  589. Random Guy says:

    I have contacted the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Catholic Charities, NAACP, and DCF in your area to try to reason with the city on your behalf. All of these groups have a great amount of resources at their disposal, including lawyers and publicists, who if the city cannot see reason may at least be able to bully them into doing the right thing for the sake of avoiding litigation.

  590. Chris says:

    I sent the emails-as I hope others did too. I count 390 comments. Will the “leaders” of this little town be receiving 390 emails? I hope so.

    Call the news outlets-USA today. You have documented well. Perhaps fox news too? They love a good outrage.

    Get arrested. That’s the only way to go.

  591. AK says:

    The cop is enforcing city code. Just because they let you in the past, doesn’t mean they have to keep doing it.

    I’m pretty sure the reason for this is that the city would like families to come down and enjoy the park without being accosted by mentally ill homeless people. It’s not the fault of downtown business owners that the mentally ill get shafted. They should be able to operate in the city without worrying whether people will come because they waited in line for a biscuit. You’re doing the guise of “this is what Jesus would do”, but that doesn’t wash. This is attention-grabbing bullshit.

    We have shelters in this city, and many homeless resources. The homeless people are at the park so they can panhandle from as many passers-by as possible. They aren’t stupid. You are just encouraging bad behavior. Why don’t you buy each of them a fishing rod and a tackle box instead? Then they will have the means to learn a life skill that will feed them instead of ruining a downtown experience for hundreds of thousands of productive citizens.

  592. BearMan says:

    I am deeply disturbed and angry over this stupid decision. I call for Action 32 to be undertaken at location Y. Camel’s back has been broken.


  593. Joe says:

    It’s against the law to help people? To feed someone who’s starving? I’m glad I wasn’t there because the anger inside me wouldve made me do something I wouldve regretted for the rest of my life as well as absolutely ruined everything. Go with the peaceful Gandhi way. It works and it’s the best approach and the hardest to do. Right now though I’m shaking with anger!!!!

  594. 3rdknight says:

    NC Gov. Pat McCrory gave out cookies to people gathered on Downtown Raleigh’s sidewalks just a couple weeks ago. Granted, they were protestors and he is the Governor….but it shouldnt matter. He distributed food in public. He didnt have a permit. He wasn’t arrested or even warned. So what is the issue here then in light of this?….is it THAT you are distributing food to people? Is it who is distributing food? Is who you are distributing food to? Sadly, in this case, I think it is the latter.

    Link to article and pictures of McCrory handing out cookies just blocks away from Moore Square.

  595. Susan says:

    My understanding is that you can legally feed a feral cat in Raleigh, but I am wondering what ordinance denies the right to feed a human being?

  596. Liv says:

    I’m so sorry this occurred. I’m certain things will work out. Then again it’s N.C.

  597. LN says:

    Is there any way you can meet outside the city limits, or on some private party? I just read that another city has banned feeding the homeless because you cant verify that the food has the right amount of vitamins and minerals in it. I dont know what this world is coming to. It’s as if we live in a state of abject lunacy!!

  598. Ben Higdon says:

    Or ya know… Just get arrested? What is 24 hours in jail? When feeding 70+ hungry people? I admire your 6 years of service, but I have to say today you bowed down to oppression. You let yourself be defeated. Maybe you were supposed to be arrested. Maybe like Paul you were supposed to minister to your fellow inmates and guards while there? Think about it. Not condemnation… just thoughts…

  599. Bob says:

    People are so swift to attack the city and the police without having ALL the facts and only reading one side of a story. There is the lawful way to do the right thing and there is the unlawful way. The authorities have been turning a blind eye and allowing this activity to be done for so long BECAUSE it was a good deed but a growing crowd and other concerns have caused them to enforce what they should have been doing all along
    A few things to consider;
    Growing crowd means vehicle and sidewalk traffic issues

    Free food in the park means trash left all over the park and streets by those eating it
    Food vendors wondering why they must have assigned spots and get health inspections to make sure the food, conditions and handling is safe for the consumers but not this group
    Why the requests to find an alternative location has been ignored
    Keep doing the right thing, just do it the right way

  600. Gerald says:

    If that is the law you need to obey it. There is no command to feed people. If you want to feed them do so within the law.

  601. Debra says:

    I would have fed the people and gone to jail.

  602. There are no homeless/hungry in the area in which I live.
    OUR gov. removed them yrs ago. However I always keep dollars in my console and hand them out to people in need. I have been criticized by many people for doing this. They tell me, ” they’re only going to spend it on drugs or alcohol”. I’ve always heard that one must reach the bottom before they can climb up. My reply to these self-centered people is always “if that’s so, I’m helping them reach their bottom.” The bible says, if you feed my hungry you feed me”.
    In this city they do have free breakfasts & lunches. They are

    They are held outside of the churches on church grounds & help hundreds of people daily.
    We see many ads on TV begging for food for children in forien countries. I do believe this is a wonderful undertaking, however there are many families here that also need help & who also go to bed each night in empty stomachs. My question is this. What has happened to our sympathy, membepathy, caring & live for people? When did we forget that “THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE”!!!
    The bible says, “if you feed my children, you feed me”.n,
    The bible says feed my children, feed me.”

    The city I visit the most has many homeless/hungry people/families. The bible says, if you feed my children

  603. Austin TX says:

    Email sent to your mayor to fix this “problem”. Praying for a great resolution.

    I can’t help but notice the premium cup of COFFEE in the officer’s hand in the picture. I guess once he has had breakfast everyone else can just go home…wait, where?

  604. Rhonda Hunt says:

    I think that on the same day, same time, everyone in the city should show up with one biscuit and one cup of coffee each. Each person can hand it to another person who is in need. They can’t arrest the whole city!

  605. Rebecca says:

    I suspect a couple of reasons may have played a part in this particular crackdown. 1. Feeding homeless & hungry, tends to bring more homeless & hungry (or so some authorities may worry) 2. Liability for Food Sanitation due to major food poisoning issues in the news recently. The city may literally be concerned that if even one person were to claim to become ill from the free food distributed at the park, that the city would be sued, & possibly held financially accountable, for any medical bills, or long term care or hardships caused to anyone affected by food provided free at the park. I know many groups are no longer able to even allow volunteers to harvest or pick or glean fruits, vegetables, grains & other agricultural products, due to brand new FEDERAL LAWS that were just instituted in the last couple of months, if I understand correctly. If anyone is going to even attempt to pick any of these products, they have to be trained, and if even one person is seen doing something wrong (picking up a piece of fruit that just fell on the ground), then the entire orchard, field, vineyard, can be shut down completely, and the entire crop be wasted, because it will be considered to be unfit for human consumption. It is due to the high number of food borne illnesses, like e coli outbreak on spinach, the berry mixes for the smoothies from Costco (it was on the pomegranate seeds), the organic raw apple juice that had caused an e coli outbreak, other horrendous large scale illness break outs caused by food that was not sanitarily handled, causing several deaths, in some cases. While gleaning used to be considered completely OK, if it is allowed at all, anymore, it has to be done AFTER ALL OTHER CROPS HAVE BEEN HARVESTED & REMOVED FROM THE PROPERTY COMPLETELY! Sometimes the reasons are not political, but have a basis in scientific, & medical fact. Hopefully the city leaders will try to work WITH charitable agencies to help the less fortunate.

  606. mark says:

    With respect, your group skated by for years without following the law. I’ve participated in many church and boy/girl scout activities in public parks (side walk or not you are using the park) and we always paid for the permit when required. That said the permit is ridiculously expensive. My guess is this is actually driven by community complaints. There were a couple of parks in my area that the locals felt they couldn’t use due to homeless people and it was their complaints that made the city act.

  607. gage says:

    It would be an easy thing to be well-fed, well-housed, and well-clothed, and to minister to the poor. But that wasn’t Christ.
    Christ was a vagabond. He lived nowhere in particular and wandered the countryside. He depended upon charity for His sustenance and for that of his disciples. There’s no doubt He knew hunger. Wherever He went, He sought the poor, the feeble, and the sick. He went to them.

    You at Love Wins are absolutely following Christ when you go to meet the poor. Don’t take the suggestion of some that you should be ministering in any other way. Keep going to where the poor are located — there is a soul desperately waiting for you there. Love will find a way.

    I’ll write to your mayor and council members, and I am sharing this page on my Facebook page and asking others to do the same.

  608. KFosse says:

    Screw the police. I’d gladly sit in jail a few days having fed a hungry animal. Would that city rather round them all up, at huge expense, and murder them? Sharing story. Who wouldn’t feed a starving dog, cat, human for crying out loud? Illegal? Well, then arrest me.

  609. Lily says:

    This group was lucky to break city ordinances this long without being confronted. Frankly, they should have figured out how to do this within the law years ago. It is terrible that they have been stopped so suddenly, but hopefully they will be wise enough to not sit and pray for a solution, but to fight and find a way to continue their charity.

  610. KFosse says:

    And Jordan, some hungry people and animals CANNOT walk to a church, they are too sick or wounded or bedridden. We have to help those less fortunate. human or animal.

  611. KFosse says:

    Sorry meant would feed hungry human or animal. Dang I pad.

  612. Laura says:

    While it’s really stupid that they’re suddenly not allowed to continue for no actual reason, I don’t see why they don’t use a church parking lot. I suppose they picked the park because homeless people hang out there and maybe it’s a central location, but they could still redirect people to the church or even drive them in a church bus if they have one. Not to say they shouldn’t fight this because it’s totally wrong but in the meantime if they want to continue weekly there should be plenty of space at a church since they’re not even blocking the sidewalk.

  613. Jesse says:

    No crime was being committed in feeding the homeless why would you not just feed the people and if you were arrested it would have been for a noble cause and your bank accounts should be pretty fat after suing the city of Raleigh PD. I would love to know what they would call that charge

  614. phillip kanas says:

    Evil prospers and grows when good people do nothing.To think how satan has slowly influenced society so this behavior to be acceptable really scares me. How anyone can justify not sharing food,love,and time for a person in need on public paid property is beyond me. This kind of disdain for any living thing (most important to brothers and sisters in christ, for we are all of one blood) shows the sad state that our gov. has fallen low and is trying to take us along. I pray for the servants of god and the misguided servants of the hidden source of evil that is the root of this situation.

  615. Francis ann S says:

    I feel its sad to think when Gods People try to Help others with Gods work. and You give Others food and Blessings,and Those in high Places; City Hall Are not believers In Food for Gods Love; and hope to Help His People, Very Sad.to think City Hall Is Letting People Down who voted Them In First Place and Pay Tax,s God Bless Those who are there to Help Others,.Thank you. for helping Gods Children,,….from a Canadian,

  616. John says:

    It’s one thing to feed the hungry. It’s another thing to feed people for so long that they become dependent on you feeding them and start forming lines just expecting your free food.

    I for one am absolutely for hand outs to be illegal. Especially hand outs in public. Keep your soup kitchens and your charities inside your places of work or worship. At least force the hungry to put in the minor amount of effort required to actually WALK to your charity, rather than doing all the work yourselves and keeping them solely dependent on your charity.

    It is foolish and wrong of you to claim some holy or moral purpose that drives you to make all of these people dependent on you. Standing on a pedestal yourselves. And then you make this article? It is clear that all you seek is fame and recognition. How dare you have so much pride. Even Jesus said that you should teach people to fish rather than to just constantly feed them. Or haven’t you read your bible thoroughly enough? Get off your stage and lose your pride. Continue to be giving and charitable. But by no means should you think that you somehow have a right to continue this practice just because you think it is some kind of religious duty. The only duty you are performing is a duty to yourself. You are emotionally feeding off the gratitude of others. You aren’t doing this selflessly. And how dare you try to pretend as if you are. If you were doing this selflessly, it wouldn’t even phase you that it was suddenly illegal. You would just find a way to do it legally, or just face the persecution. Instead of climbing onto this stage of Pride to throw your agenda around. God will judge you, and I hope for your sake that my assumptions about what lies in your heart are wrong.

  617. Kevin Shue says:

    Inform the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center of the issue. The government is preventing you from practicing your faith or preventing you from acting on your faith.

    It sounds you don’t wish to escalate this situation. I understand there may be other options before you escalate this.

    I think the this is an issue over money. Either local business owners complained or the local government found a way to make some spare cash.

    I help at cold weather shelters for the homeless where I live. I am not a Christian, but these people need help.

  618. Rev. Pamela Tinnin says:

    These kinds of actions come in cycles – that’s been our experience in northern California. Every Sunday afternoon at 1pm, we have a short worship service followed by a full meal. Originally at the downtown square, after complaints by the merchants, we negotiated moving to the local Park and Ride parking lot. The second time we were asked to move, we refused, and the officials decided that they’d let us stay. I would suggest making an all out effort to negotiate accompanied by lots of PR. If that fails, personally I would be prepared to be arrested. Blessings and peace, Pastor Pam

  619. Betty Stone says:

    God Bless the city of Raleigh. Open their minds and hearts and let them see what your word says about helping those in need. And let them see where they are hurting those that need a helping hand. And I pray Father that the same fate does not befall any of them. Please provide provisions to those in need, as this door seems to have been closed by the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, by origination by direct order from the Raleigh City Council.

    I was a resident in Raleigh and then the surrounding area of Pittsboro for over 20 years. I don’t live there any longer, however I enjoyed the life I had while there.

    We have to remember that the actual officers were only doing a job that they get paid for in order to take care of their families and not become homeless themselves. I don’t know that in doing so if they would even know if a law exist on the books to cover this. They were told what to do and ask no questions. I know that would not be the answer that they should be receiving.

    During the week, when the homeless are able to receive food from other locations, they blend in with the crowd easier.

    With a town full of college students with different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs, it would be more difficult to recognize a homeless person from anyone else. So on the weekends the hustle and bustle of life is less evident, which would make it easier to identify a homeless person.

    I hope none of you think that this action is not about money to be made by the city.

    If the truth were known it is about the income of the city, which would help the careers of the City Council in the long term.

    POINT BLANK “IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY” in some way. Maybe it’s not cash given to an individual. But it could be about personal gain for the individual and the city.

  620. Randy says:

    Someone should contact The American Center for Law and Justice and let them look into this serious issue of civil liberties discrimination.


  621. Angel Williams says:

    I wish there was a “LIKE” button here. I too am not a Christian, but find this heartless! A good friend posted this on Facebook and I live in Texas and am spreading this as fast as I can. (I have relatives in Raleigh and they hadn’t heard, but they know NOW!!) The City Council WILL be getting phone calls from Texas and I hope many other places. Kuddos to the ministries! You are doing something wonderful! It sounds like there are many who are trying to help, and hopefully one of those places will pan out. I believe Heaven is on Earth, life is what we make of it. You all have good hearts, something the world needs more of.

  622. rk murphy says:

    Sometimes you have to go to jail for what you believe in! Just doing my job is not going to cut it anymore for law enforcement and demand a jury trial! We do not have to enforce unjust laws!

  623. Louis Colombe says:

    I am an atheist, and I would like to applaud you for you for walking the walk; for living the words you preach!!
    Please let the City Council know that the news of this has spread to California, and the whole country is watching!!!


  624. DAVE ALLEN says:

    as ever the gutless so called christians give only lip service to their religion and its teachings. Get arrested, Jesus would have been right beside you!

  625. steven bairfield says:

    Many churches take “feed my people’, the wrong way. It should be illegal to distribute food or any product in a public place. God doe’s want you to feed the people, but not just with sandwiches and drinks, but with the Word of God. The bible also says a man don’t work, he don;t eat. We are not to cast our peals to swine either. Most the people you feed are over weight, diabetics, or other health problems. It’s nice that you take an extra step to feed the less fortunate, and even the lazy, , but I’m sure with so many churches in your neighbor hood you could set up there. Free food will bring them to your buildings. But you stop feeding them food i also bet they will stop coming around to hear the Word too. Have you told them God will supply their needs if they repent and come to Him? Have you told them the rapture of the church is at hand? Have you told them their coincidences they face should they miss the rapture and have to go through the tribulation? Have you told them about heaven and hell? Please spread the message of Jesus Christ, and salvation first then feed them if you wish, I’m sure there’s a church that would set up tables for them in the area to serve them. God Bless!

  626. John says:

    I used to find this method effective when I had a complaint to lodge with the city I lived in. First I would get the name of the city employee that told me to lodge a complaint if I did not like the situation. Then I would get the private number of the Mayor. I would then call the Mayor when I got home from work, about 3:00 am and tell them the name of the employee who said I should complain to them, and that this is the most easiest time for me to get a chance to call. After that, NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY ever suggested I file a complaint.
    Now if 50 people a day would call at all times of the day, the mayor might take notice. But if 100 to 500 people a day would call, at all times of the day, jam up the phone lines to city hall also. I would be willing to bet they would consider changing their ways. And if that did not work, just get some wooden rails, buckets of tar, and sacks of feathers. Then assemble peacefully on the sidewalks without blocking traffic and give speeches about how a change is needed in city government.

  627. Pau Whitrow says:

    Hi there From Australia After reading you article I was taken back by the local Police there in Ranleigh. my suggestion is to continue to feed the homeless and as one get arrested let the next person feed the next homeless one until the jails are overflowing with people whose intentions were the work of God. Also Get ABC TV and NBC down there to show what is happening Then when they go to court The Judge will sort it out

  628. joyce says:

    This is on public land? Arent these people part of that public? So if a mom gives her child food in that park, is she going to be arrested for distributing food? I heard about this story while visiting in another state and I was embarrassed to say I lived here. Our governments are getting out of control and slowly taking away our rights. We all need to wake up, stand up, and remind the elected officials who their bosses are.

  629. Rev. Tom Griffith says:

    This comment will not please many, but I pass it on for what it’s worth.

    I was appointed to serve a local UMC in a ghetto community in my Annual Conference, 25 years ago. It had been cited by the City Council for cooking and distributing food to the homeless in our community. Neighbors had complained, and the city was trying to quash our church from being used as a site for preparation and distribution of food for the homeless.

    As we worked through this with the city, several things became obvious. First, about 250 meals per weekday were being prepared and distributed there, and that created a “critical mass” of those whom the neighbors considered to be “bums” and created fear in the neighbors that somehow one or more of those “bums” would do something negative to their homes or their persons.

    The solution, temporarily, was that meals were prepared at our church and distributed in a city park several blocks away. But that led to people who liked to go to the park being afraid of said homeless persons. Finally, another kitchen was found to prepare the food, and the distribution site was changed to a street corner in an industrial area about a mile away from our church.

    The lesson learned: 1) one cannot prepare food and distribute it from the same site. We are volunteer organizations who depend upon volunteers for participation and contribution. No matter how well-intentioned a ministry might be, the constant “hanging around” of folks waiting for a food distribution discourages volunteers from being part of our church, or upsets neighbors who are afraid of people who look like many homeless people look. Sad as it may be, even the Salvation Army now never hands out food or clothing to needy people at the same site where they worship—or at least not at the same door or on the same street.

    2) Distribution of food, etc to the homeless needs to be done at multiple sites, with no more than 25 persons being fed at any one site. More than that, and what is perceived to be a “critical mass” of homeless people present in a residential or commercial neighborhood that creates complaints from fearful residents or merchants.

    3) In most cities, even today, “Rescue Missions” tend to be sited in industrial areas, where there are not fearful residents or retail merchants who don’t want people being afraid to come shop at their stores, present. I don’t celebrate this—it is capitulating to the fears of people rather than creating inclusive communities. But it is a reality.

    4) Through all of this, I have come up with a 3-part “rule of thumb” to understand the persons who walk through, or sleep outside of a home, in any community: 1) when all the stock brokers and jewelers (except “‘credit’ jewelers”) move out of a community, it has gone from middle class to working class. 2) when the fast food restaurants put coin/token locks on their restroom, it has gone from working class to “no class.” 3) When the ratio of Pawn Shops to population drops below 1:20,000, it has gone from “no class” to ghetto. Sad but true.

  630. uatu zwatcher says:

    here’s what’s going on, the city council wants “upcoming revitalization of Moore Square” they don’t want crowds of homeless standing around while they are trying to sell this supposed revitalization.
    i’ve seen the same thing in my town (dayton, ohio)
    our city council worked so hard to drive the homeless, loiterers and “lower class” out of downtown dayton in hopes of creating a cultural tourist mecca that downtown dayton has become a ghost town.
    with daytonians “discouraged” from “loitering” downtown via removing anything resembling seating, isolating public transit to a private property hub policed by rude and abusive “Transit Ambassadors” and harassing anyone not moving with “purpose” people don’t want to be there so no people, no customers, no customers no businesses what was once a thriving city is now a place of vacant buildings and drug dealers pushing their crap while dogging the police patrols.
    and what of the city’s plans for cultural tourism? not gonna happen even with the schuster center and Victoria theater, who want’s to risk being mugged, stabbed or raped to go see high society shows in a city where 4 out of 5 building is a boarded up shell? where there’s an average of one shop and 3 bar’s per block and even one of the local pawn shops has moved out of the area. what does this have to do with not feeding the homeless? it comes down to the same reason her landlord doesn’t want my elderly mother feeding stray cats he said “don’t feed them damn things, they’ll just hang around more and multiple. i don’t want those filthy things around here”
    that is the way the city council sees the homeless, as undesirables that they want to get rid of, not attract.
    what can you do? remember, the mayor and most other public officials are ELECTED, don’t vote for them and they simply go away.

  631. stephanie says:

    I would NOT want to be the cop that has to answer for that one day . Or in this case, CITY COUNSEL :) Prov 28:27 Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.

  632. Alex says:

    I am with Robert. Call the TV station. You’ll see the police officers’ attitude change. If not, let them tell you which law you broke at the police station.

  633. Cops Have No Right NOR Does the City Council OR Mayor says:

    Personally the police nor do the Elected City Officials meaning the council and mayor have No right to have that type of an ordinance as it Violates the CIVIL RIGHTS of others. And in no way shape or form can anything violate those Civil Rights. No City has a right to prevent others from feeding the homeless in the park. The park is a Place that Tax Dollars pay to keep clean so that needs to be removed. Because if you wanna say they can not feed anyone in the park then you may as well make the park off limits to anyone and everyone. No City Council or Mayor can prevent others from eating. That right there is a crime and can and will get the city officials more scrutiny than any other city in the US even more than Detroit City and That State REMOVED those Officials from Office. I Would Petition for them to be removed from their elected offices as they are not fit to run ANY city. Cruelty to anyone is a CRIME! Plain and simple and what they are doing when preventing the Feeding of the homeless and poor is Cruel and unusal punishment. AND FURTHERMORE if the Officers are ASKED to SHOW PROOF of a PUBLIC ORDINANCE they are required to do so. Otherwise it is not a REAL ordinance. on top of that ANYONE who agrees with the Police in this matter is an IDIOT and needs to be placed in the same situation those Kind Hearted people are in or they just need to shut up. And Personally if I were these people I Would Surely Write my Congressman AND then The President and let them Know what that city is doing to the homeless especially if they have no soup kitchen that should run all week Long. Plus making you pay for a permit to eat in the park is illegal in any state. You can go to Yosemite National Park and eat there Hell you can feed lots there if you wanted to.

  634. with all the cruel things,drugs,murders, robberies,abuse ect… it is wonderful to hear such nice stories about people reaching out to help others. These people who stop wonderful things like this for taking place should keep in the back of their minds that going hungry being homeless could happen to anyone of us at anytime and they may be the one holding out their hands to get something to eat. These people who made up such laws should rethink stuff like this before they put it on paper and in force it. I’m from New York and hearing about this all the way up here is pitiful. Shame on you the people who stopped this and God bless those who are doing the kind work.

  635. Aza says:

    WWJD? Hand out the sandwiches anyway. If you’re not breaking a specific law, you are not acting against Jesus’ teachings. Do like “Robert” says and have a video camera and the local news team there (After all, Jesus did have disciples with him as witnesses)

    Go, feed the needy, spend a little time in jail cheering up some other poor arrestees, and preserve the right to feed the needy! Don’t let conservatives ruin this too!

  636. Cathie says:

    This is brilliant. Really? Does North Carolina need another reason to be labelled the most backward state? This is repulsive. Repugnant. I could go on forever. McCrory needs to get a clue.

  637. Edgar Lane says:

    To all who think this is wrong please watch the documentary “Dive” that is available on Netflix. We should demand that Congress pass a law that all food disposed of by supermarkets (and resturants) prior to the expiration date should be given to feed the hungry. Otherwise, we will need those dumpsters to dispose of the dead bodies resulting from the current prevailing attitude that welfare should be eliminated. Picture that! A dumpster full of perfectly good disposed food mixed with dead bodies resulting from starvation? A good example of this attitude is the current passage of the law that requires welfare recipients to pass a drug test. How many babies do you know that can stand up and speak out that they are incapable of preventing their parent from doing drugs? We can claim any reason as justification for this law, but anyone who reads scripture correctly should know that this is just WRONG!
    Luke 19
    New Century Version (NCV)
    Zacchaeus Meets Jesus
    19 Jesus was going through the city of Jericho. 2 A man was there named Zacchaeus, who was a very important tax collector, and he was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but he was not able because he was too short to see above the crowd. 4 He ran ahead to a place where Jesus would come, and he climbed a sycamore tree so he could see him. 5 When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down! I must stay at your house today.”
    6 Zacchaeus came down quickly and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to complain, “Jesus is staying with a sinner!”
    8 But Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “I will give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times more.”
    9 Jesus said to him, “Salvation has come to this house today, because this man also belongs to the family of Abraham. 10 The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.”
    Notice that Jesus did not request that he receive 10% for his involvement in this endeavor. This is an important commentary on “tithing”! and we should understand this message unscathed by false prophets! No wonder Jesus overturned the tables of the money-changers in the temple!

  638. Herb Kersten says:

    Meet the hungry at the park and shuttle them to your churches; feed them there and share the gospel, then shuttle them back to the park or engage with them further where appropriate. Not wise to challenge or publicly protest the law as Christans – render unto Caesar etc. Not lecturing you, just a word in love. :)

  639. charlene says:

    just letting you know…saw this shared on fb. I sent an email from Canada expressing disappointment at seeing the situation. Good luck 😉

  640. Eric says:

    It seems to me there is a simple solution to this problem. If you are allowed to sell food but not give it away, simply offer the biscuits you’d like to see the homeless people be able to have at the price of 1 cent each. McDonald’s has a 99c menu — you can have a 1c menu if you please.

  641. Mudhooks says:

    Can they stop you from distributing coupons for a free breakfast muffin and coffee?

    Either from a fast food restaurant or “selling” the coupon for 1 penny and distributing the food at another nearby location (the other side of the park). Technically, you are selling them the food. You can always refund the penny upon “return” of the coupon.

  642. maurice nash says:

    any one who runs a business or owns one open your doors early and let the people just come in and pick up ther sandwish and coffee as long its not out side then they can not due any thing

  643. Marie says:

    Get a bunch of people together and pray. Ask God what to do? Is there a local Salvation Army who is able to distribute food to the homeless? Can you donate to them…. and allow them to distribute the food to the hungry? I never heard of this happening before!

  644. Lisa Ensell says:

    Give them a call! Maybe you can find a solution together!

  645. MzLady says:

    What ever happened to separation of
    Church and state???
    Isn’t there a lawyer out there who could
    As a former NYer, I saw this happen where
    I used to live, and the church won the
    battle…. Someone should check into that…
    You are a courageous group, dedicated to
    your faith… You are to be commended for
    that… Good luck in your fight to help those
    less fortunate…. We need people like you !!!

  646. David Adams says:

    This is a national outrage and I’ll do my best to make sure this disturbing story reaches national media!

  647. dittrell dove says:

    god dose not like ugliness if its a problem why don’t the state feed them I think its wrong to treat the less fortunate that way stand up an fight for what is right!!!

  648. Montress Greene says:

    J do not know all the details but it appears to me to be one more step in the wrong direction for North Carolina (of course this is the City of Raleigh). The State of North Carolina is passing laws at a rapid pace to eliminate the homeless, the hungry, uninsured and weak in our state. These laws are not to help them rise up but to deny health care, food and education and voting rights (they cannot survive.) Now the City of Raleigh is going to arrest anyone who offers food to the hungry and homeless. I am almost 80 years old and have always been proud of my State. The voter suppression, cutting health care, cutting public education teachers and funding, closing women’s health clinics. , etc. and now in Raleigh, NC people will be arrested for feeding the hungry and homeless.

    North Carolina is already in the National News for some of the destructive bills passed. I hope this one makes it.
    If the leaders in North Carolina truly despise the poor, minorities, elderly, sick and homeless so much, they are following a path to make sure these people do not exist for long. They will not survive without food.
    Having been a proud North Carolinian for almost 80 years, I am now ashamed of the policies in North Carolina and the dismissal of the poor, minority, children, women, homeless and hungry. Those in authority to make these decisions from across their mahogany desk (taxpayer funded) should remember that in the end we will all be judged by how we treat the least of Thee. Keep your eye on the sparrow.

  649. Chris says:

    Reading this I am so very thankful that I do not live in America. It appears that your government is truly pushing a police state. Shame on the Mayor and the City Council.

  650. Bob W. says:

    The issue is NOT finding an additional space for distributing the food. That’s the easy part. It’s not about raising money to make arrangements to bring the people to a sandwich and a cup of coffee. The issue is, as I see it, the fact that the thing was not broken in the first place so why try to fix it. Here’s an easy fix. Place one bag of sandwiches on the hood of your car which should be parked legally. If random people come and take a sandwich from a bag on a LEGALLY parked car, no law is being violated. If there happens to be someone in the car holding cups of coffee out an open window and people help them hold those cups, what law is being broken? I’m all about police officers doing their jobs and I can assure you that this was not a random act on their part. This came from higher up the ladder than that. Silly people in positions of authority trying to over-regulate. Ridiculous.

  651. RHH says:

    Where are the spineless pastors? Why are they not in front of the Mayor and Council members and the police chief and in their faces on camera about this? Could it be that they benefit from the problem? Could it be that preachers don’t really want the problem to be solved because they need problems to exist in order justify their own pay?

  652. Pam says:

    Ok, what I am wondering is why would you stop a private group from doing this, this is something that we should encourage. Not to get political, but isn’t this what George W. Bush encouraged, more private outreach programs and less tax dollars, it should be a win all the way around and hungry people get to eat. Blaming the cops is not the way to go, it is those that make the laws that need to be held accountable.

  653. Kathy Mitro says:

    I have had a petition addressing this very issue of criminalizing feeding the hungry on change.org for 2 years and have only under 600 signatures. Please use this nonviolent means of changing the world through the power of gentle calm voices saying this is not the way we want our world run. http://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-change-the-laws-that-criminalize-sharing-food-with-hungry-individuals

  654. Exboyracer says:

    I was arrested for protesting Kent state. You should have let them arrest you – the community would have supported you.