fort lauderdale commissioners approve ordinance that restricts food not bombs

by Tim Phillips

At a meeting that began Tuesday and ended at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of regulations regarding how food may be served in the downtown area. The ordinance will officially become law on October 31. According to yesterday’s Broward/Palm Beach New Times article,

The new ordinance deals primarily with how groups go about serving food to the homeless, such as rules on food handling, providing toilet facilities and hand-washing areas, and requirements on how and when the food should be served, particularly for groups that service the homeless outdoors and in parks. Homeless advocates say the restrictions are too cumbersome…

This is the fifth ordinance in the past six months that criminalizes homeless people or their allies in Fort Lauderdale. For example, commissioners recently passed an ordinance authorizing police to confiscate a homeless person’s possessions after a 24-hour notice, and keep them until the person pays a fee or proves that he or she can’t afford it. Food Not Bombs has invited anyone who disagrees with the ‘sharing ban’ to show up in costume on October 31 and openly feed homeless people.