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 Post subject: Sharing Food Criminalized
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:08 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:23 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Houston, TX
Does anyone here share food with people less fortunate than yourself?

I participate with my local Food Not Bombs, but I don't need them to share with any hungry person. It is convenient though. Sharing food with more than five people has been criminalized in my city (which I think is preposterous and sick). I have also been seeing similar measures to curb the sharing of food in other parts of this country. The homeless cannot be swept under the rug and be made to disappear. We should not have to face jail-time or a criminal fine for being caring and loving. There are many people out there that can't afford to feed themselves sufficiently and are forced to resort to food pantries and other similar programs (I have been one of these people several times throughout my life). I think intercepting fruits and vegetables before they become grocery store garbage and then using it to create healthy/nutritious meals is useful, progressive, intelligent and should be common sense. Considering how much food is wasted in America and globally, intercepting vegetables and fruits and turning them into a meal to share with others is definitely a worthy endeavor.

I have been homeless a few times in my life. I have been broke and spread so thin financially that I needed food sharing programs to survive. I know what hunger pains are like and they're horrible. I enjoy cooking and I enjoy sharing food with people who need/want it. I'm very passionate about this and I am interested if there are any others of like mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharing Food Criminalized
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:14 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
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Location: Cliffbar NJ
Could you give us more background on the statute? I am sure that the law isn't supposed to stop large parties or barbecues (it is Houston after all!), so I am wondering about the scope and the wording of the statute. Is it a food safety or health code issue?

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 Post subject: Re: Sharing Food Criminalized
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Nailed to the V
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:49 pm
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Location: Central NJ
I am a little curious myself on the basis of this myself. Could you link an article or direct source?

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 Post subject: Re: Sharing Food Criminalized
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:23 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Houston, TX
Houston has a history of creating a hostile environment for the homeless (heck, they even forced all the homeless population they could on to buses to be shipped out of the city when the Super Bowl was held here). This law also came about during the time of the Occupy Movement here in Houston, where people would bring food to share with the occupiers. I feel as if there are also other ulterior motives to making sharing food with more than five people a crime, and I'm not the only one.

This is a great article on the subject: http://www.freepresshouston.com/feature ... g-charity/
This is the Chapter 20 Amendment to the ordinance: http://www.houstontx.gov/health/2012-269.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Sharing Food Criminalized
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:48 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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Yeah, I have heard of similar statutes, especially in the southwest where homeless can be outside for most of the year so there's more opportunity for food not bombs, et al to function.

We do a feeding operation in our synagogue and many of the houses of worship in town have taken on a dinner or lunch to offer during the week. We serve a lot of food that is leftover from events and we repurpose into casseroles, soups, etc. We serve a big meal and people always go away with doggy bags, too. There is a small local organization with a handful of paid staff who come and hang out during all the meals so they can keep track of people and help connect them to housing opportunities and health services and make sure they have sleeping bags when it gets cold. Until we can fix the causes of poverty and hunger, this is what we've got to do. The good thing about doing it through a faith organization is that the cops are happy about it, and we are not regulated in the way that professional soup kitchens are (with minimum ages to work in the kitchen, etc.). I am sure we'd be harassed if we did it on the street or in a park and wound up with thirty plus homeless people congregating.


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