To share food with a hungry individual is an act of compassion and the true meaning of empathy. Currently in most cities of the United States it is illegal for one individual to share food with another hungry individual who is homeless. I know as I was threatened with a fine and arrest for passing out wrapped bologna sandwiches to homeless people in my community. Since this time another law has passed making it illegal for these same individuals to even ASK for food,punishable by 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. I know most people in the US. would find these laws unbelievable and inhumane,but they are very real and very much enforced.Peace loving groups such as Food Not Bombs http://www.foodnotbombs.net/story.html are regularly arrested for their kindness and compassion for feeding the hungry and still there is no public outcry to have these laws repealed. Power must be given back to those in a position to ease another persons hungry suffering. It must be made legal for each and every person capable of sharing food with another to share with them without threat and fear of arrest and fine.
Let us move forward towards a more highly evolved society, instead of stepping backwards towards a society that persecutes those that have no money.
The homeless do not exist in only one community,they are in every community. The current cure to starve them out and make them flee towards food somewhere else is a false premise. This type of ethnic cleansing "not in my community" brings back to me images of Germany, where another group of people was once deemed not suitable to live. These are real people. Forbiding them to ask for food when they are in pain from hunger. Forbiding them to sleep in the bushes or anywhere for that matter when they have no beds or home to sleep in. The question is do we want to evolve to that more loving , compassionate futuristic society that deep in our hearts we all dream of being. Or do we want to descend back into ethnic cleansing. The homeless society is not someone elses problem and when you think it is, you allow laws to be passed that are destroying people. If you think these people are throw away remember karma. What you deem appropriate for another will one day be visited upon you. I opt to treat others as I would wanted to be treated if our situations were reversed.
Following is a copy of a plea to City Council to not add asking for food to the panhandling prohibition list
Dear City Council: Let me start off by saying just how much I love
the city and want only the best for it. I want it to thrive and
prosper but I feel the approach being taken to further persecute the
homeless is not the right way. The homeless are not a static group of
individuals too lazy to work.
It is an ever changing population in constant flux as people leave and enter
it's ranks daily.
I can only imagine the terror of each new member to it as they come to
realization that to be totally impoverished is a crime in modern day
America. Right now we fine and arrest these people for sleeping on the
streets even though there are beds for only about 100 of a population of
approximately 3000 homeless here. We not only do not allow
individuals to feed their starving ranks, we threaten to arrest and fine
those compassionate enough to try to ease their suffering.For some reason
now we feel even these laws making criminals of those with no
money is not enough, and we have come here today to make these laws even
tougher. Why are we doing this? Why are we not gathered here today to find
a way to ease the suffering of these people who could number among them you
your own daughters,your grandchildren , your mother and father.
I move that instead of making things harder we spend today discussing how
we can ease their suffering Lets look to solutions , not persecution.
If you want the homeless population removed from your sight, the tourist's
sight and your customers sight,lets give them some place to go. Lets assign
a piece of land for them, a hidden piece of land for them to sleep on at
night without fear of arrest and jail. This is a constructive action, a
action based in good and in love. An action that says there but for the
grace of god go I.
Unfortunately my side lost and the new measure was added by unanimous vote
LETS CHANGE THE LAW AND THIS WORLD TO A KINDER MORE COMPASSIONATE PLACE. TO SUPPORT THIS PLEASE FORWARD A COPY OF THIS PETITION TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE. GIVE EVERYONE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SIGN.
MAKE THIS YOUR PETITION AND YOUR CHANGE IN THE WORLD.
DOES ANYONE REALLY THINK ITS A GOOD IDEA FOR ANYONE TO HAVE THE POWER TO TELL US IT'S AGAINST THE LAW TO SHARE FOOD.
THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO GIVE OUT FOOD,THERE IS ONLY GIVING OUT ALL THE FOOD YOU CAN
GIVING OUT FOOD SHOULD BE A UNREGULATED ACT OF KINDNESS AND COMPASSION.
Such restrictions also raise human rights concerns. The right to food is a recognized human right,explicitly addressed in over 120 instruments of international law since 1920 and included in the domestic constitutions of 22 nations. The International Convention on Economic Social recognized that food is a basic human need and right. Homelessness & Poverty (the Law Center) worked collaboratively to publish Feeding Intolerance: Prohibitions on Sharing Food with People Experiencing Homelessness. The report drew attention to the disturbing national trend of penalizing the act of sharing food with men,women, and CHILDREN experiencing homelessness. Three years later, cities are still implementing these measures through ordinances, policies, and tactics that discourage or prohibit individuals and groups from sharing food with homeless persons. Uncomfortable with visible homelessness in their communities and influenced by myths about homeless peoples’ food access, cities use food sharing restrictions to move homeless people out of sight, an action that often exacerbates the challenges people experiencing homelessness face each day. One example of these attitudes, often referred to as NIMBY (Not-in-My-Backyard) attitudes is evident in the new “Welcome to Ocean Beach, Please Don’t Feed Our Bums” bumper stickers, t-shirts, and hats that are causing controversy in one California town. These products, modeled after a sign asking residents not to feed bears, embody the messages that homeless people are not wanted and that by feeding them, people are enabling them to remain living on the local streets. The products sold at a local store, The Black, represent the attitudes that are at the root of many of the laws created or used to restrict food sharing with homeless people throughout the country.Many people are confronting homelessness and hunger in the current economic recession, some for the first time. The baseline number of people who are homeless over the course of a year is estimated to be approximately 3 million, and is projected to increase by 1.5 million over 2009
FOOD IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE-Global Day of Action For the Right to Share Food- April 1, 2012
How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can't scare him--he has known a fear beyond every other." Grapes of Wrath- John Steinbeck
MANDATORY FOOD RESCUE DONATION LAWS
One in 7 people in the United States are hungry each day.
Hunger is defined as the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food and the exhausted condition that goes with it.
In 1997 The Department of Agriculture estimated that 96.4 billion pounds of the 356 billion pounds of edible food produced was never eaten.
Since 1997 the number of billions of pounds of thrown away food has climbed even higher.
This food is put into landfills where it decomposes producing methane gas, a major source of greenhouse gases.
We can totally eradicate hunger in the United States by redirecting this food into a hungry mouth instead.
A person totally impoverished is a person in crisis.
Humanitarian societies take care of people in crisis regardless of how that crisis came about.
We must feed our impoverished citizens.
We can feed them at no cost.
We must pass laws that mandate edible food be donated to share with the hungry.
This is recycling at it's best.
We have now eradicated hunger and we have saved our environment.
Help us pass these laws.
Mitro/McHenry Mandatory Food Rescue Donation Law
PLEASE CLICK ON PETITION UPDATE BUTTON UNDERNEATH PICTURE TO BRING UP MORE INFORMATION ON HOW THESE LAWS ARE AFFECTING AND HURTING REAL PEOPLE