Arrest for Feeding Homeless is Sign of Socialism in America

In a socialist nation, the government insists on controlling everything, including charity. In a free nation, a great deal of charity comes from churches, social organizations and kind-hearted citizens. In light of what is happening in America today, ask yourself: ‘Are we living in a free or socialist nation?’

When Michael Bloomberg was Mayor of New York City, he insisted on the city regulating the donation of surplus cooked food to homeless shelters located in the city. For over a decade, Glenn Richter and his wife, Lenore, led a team of food-delivery volunteers from Ohab Zedek, the Upper West Side Orthodox congregation. They brought freshly cooked, nutrient-rich surplus foods from synagogue events to homeless facilities in the neighborhood… The practice of donating such surplus food to homeless shelters was common among houses of worship in the city.

Under Bloomberg, these food donations became regulated by the mayoral task force, the Health Department, and the Department of Homeless Services. In order to be DHS compliant, the donated food must first be checked for serving sizes, salt content, fat and calorie content, and fiber minimums.

These donations didn’t cost the city a penny. The food was donated. It’s not dug out of garbage bins. If a restaurant was selling it, you would probably pay top dollar for it. DHS Commissioner Seth Diamond ‘insists that the institutional vendors hired by the shelters serve food that meets the rules but also tastes good; it just isn’t too salty. So, says the commissioner, the homeless really don’t need any of the synagogue’s food.’

In Tampa, Florida, seven members of an activists group called Food Not Bombs were arrested for feeding homeless people. The arrests were made at the Lykes Gaslight Park in Tampa. The members of the group were charged with public feeding without a permit, citing city ordinance 16.43:

“No person shall conduct any activity or utilize any department managed land in a manner which will result in commercial activity, as defined in this chapter, or provide for the distribution or sampling of any materials, merchandise, food, and/or beverages to the general public, without prior written approval from the department.”

Stephen Hegarty, a spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department stated:

“This group, despite a warning, very, very made it clear that, yes, you’re telling us that we can do that, but we can’t do that by setting up tables and chairs and basically setting up shop in the middle of the park. We’re going to do it anyway. That’s the problem here.”

Gururas Khalska, a member of Tampa Food Not Bombs, explained:

“It’s supposed to be for ‘special events. We’re there twice a week. We’d have to submit for each time we show up. It is a paperwork nightmare. It’s for big events. It doesn’t fit what we’re doing.”

A few years ago, another group was stopped from feeding the homeless in Tampa after doing so for six years.

Since when should a government care if someone or a group wants to help feed people in need? Why does the city require anyone to file so much paperwork every time they want to show some charity and kindness to others in need?

It has everything to do with a socialist system of government. If you look back at the past several decades, you will see that even our federal government has instituted many regulations making it more difficult for churches or anyone to do charitable work. They require permits, applications, fees, etc. all for the purpose of socialist regulation.

The bottom line is that a socialist government wants to do away with all other charity except their own which taxpayers will pay for. They want the public to rely on the government and the government alone, especially not on churches or social groups.

The incident in Tampa is an example of how socialism is creeping into America.

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