The Bread of Life
Mission has been feeding the poor in Seattle for 70 years, and now they are
being prevented from doing so in public parks without the city's
"It was a service we were offering free of charge to be a
blessing to the homeless," Executive Director Willie Parish, Jr told
MyNorthwest.com. "All we were doing was just a continuation of what we do on a
In December, however, Parish said Seattle police told them they were
no longer allowed to serve food at the park.
City officials say the restriction is nothing new, and that Bread of
Life simply operated in the park for three years without being caught or
David Takami with the Seattle Human Services Department said the
city does not allow groups of people to feed the homeless outdoors without
"This has happened in the past where there are a lot of meals served
in a short period of time on the same day," he said. "It's a little chaotic and
it can also lead to wasted food."
The Bread of Life Mission vows to continue to
bring food to the people that need it despite the restrictions.
members of a charity in Orlando Florida, Food Not Bombs, were arrested for
feeding the homeless in a public park. The incident drew national criticism and
a hilarious mocking response from one activist observing the police brutalize
Also in 2011, Philadelphia
Mayor Michael Nutter outlawed serving meals to the homeless in city parks. The
ACLU won an injunction against the ban. See the full story in the video
each case it seems the motivation for these bans is to give the cities the
appearance of low homelessness instead of actually helping them. However, in
every instance the authorities use the excuse that they are protecting the
homeless against potentially unhealthy food, as if that's their
Ultimately, the growing trend of banning or restricting
private food charities is creating greater dependence on already taxed public
assistance. But city governments seem to be doing more harm than good when it
comes to helping the homeless.