WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Members of groups like Food Not Bombs have been feeding the homeless in West Palm Beach for the past 16 years.
They ran into few problems until earlier this year when city leaders passed an ordinance banning unpermitted feedings of groups of more than 25 people. Nick Cubides of Food Not Bombs was cited twice.
“To think any city, anywhere in the world would pass an ordinance to criminalize doing good deeds for people that are asking is unbelievable and if you respect that and follow that then like good for you but I can’t,” Cubides said.
“Food Not Bombs, they have it in their heart to help and it’s nice," said Debby McCoy, who is homeless. "It’s nice calm and they know you by name like Nick.”
Representatives from the city said the potential food borne illness and trash associated with unpermitted feedings pose health and safety risks.
In a statement they added the city of West Palm Beach has several homeless outreach programs that connect the homeless to essential services.
Cubides’ citation also includes a notice to appear for later this month.