Arrests made in Tampa, Florida for feeding the homeless

Members of Tampa Food Not Bombs were arrested on Saturday while feeding the homeless

  • In Tampa you must obtain a pricey permit to feed the homeless in a city park

  • This is not the first time members of the group have been arrested

  • The group says they will continue to feed the homeless and plan on being in the same area on Tuesday at 8:00 am

Over the weekend, as the College Football Playoff National Championship and other related events were occurring in Tampa, local activist group Tampa Food Not Bombs were participating in their regular Saturday food share when six members were arrested.

The homeless community showed up to Lykes Gaslight Park to receive hot coffee, bagels, and chips, along with organic beans and rice from the street outreach group. It was meant to be an act of kindness towards the homeless community that ended with seven arrests.

The arrests were made due to the lack of a special permit that is needed to distribute free food in city parks. Most of the street outreach programs rely upon donations all around the country, and the Tampa Food Not Bombs group works the same way.

These special permits are quite pricey due to the insurance policy Tampa requires you to have. The permit allows groups to set up tables to feed the less-fortunate.

Members of Tampa Food Not Bombs, along with other organizations, have been arrested for giving out food in the past, but the group believes Saturday’s arrests were based on the events going on in the city.

With the College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, it is no surprise there was a crackdown on the homeless community. Sadly, it is common in bigger cities to try and hide their homeless when they know a high influx of tourists will be coming to town.

When police arrived at Lykes Gaslight Park, they informed volunteers they had three minutes to stop feeding the homeless. When the demand was ignored, police moved in and arrested six members of the group.

While being pulled away, one volunteer yelled out for people to please help themselves to the food. At that point, a man that grabbed himself a bagel was arrested.

All of those arrested were released according to a crowdrise update that was started to get the volunteers out of jail. The goal of the crowdrise was set at $3,000, which they were able to raise.

The Tampa Food Not Bomb group has said that they will continue to feed the homeless and plan on meeting at the same spot where they were arrested on Tuesday at 8:00 am.

If you would like to follow the group’s actions and find out ways to help, you can do so through their Facebook page by clicking here!



About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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