A Texas-based chef who was recently ticketed for feeding the homeless will soon appear in court to fight her citation. Earlier this month, chef Joan Cheever was fined $2,000 for giving away food to a line of hungry and homeless people. The Atlantic writes that Cheever has been donating meals every Tuesday night for the last 10 years at the same park in downtown San Antonio. However, last week she was given a ticket by the police. While she prepared her menu of lamb meatballs, pasta, vegetable soup, and braised greens in a commercial kitchen and had a food handler’s license, that wasn’t enough for the cops. Cheever was lacking an oddly specific permit to give away “food free of charge.”
Cheever is not alone: The Atlantic notes a number of local governments around the country are “coercing individuals and organizations to stop helping their least-well-off neighbors.” The National Coalition for the Homeless reports that 71 cities last year restricted or banned food sharing.” The Washington Post writes that last year, police in Florida busted a 90-year-old man twice in one week for feeding the homeless. Church groups say that authorities have “threatened to arrest them” if they kept trying to feed the homeless as well.