Feeding the Homeless: The Criminalization of a Humanitarian Act

Many cities across the United States have implemented food-sharing bans and restrictions that impose fines up to thousands of dollars and possible jail time. These laws on food sharing have made it difficult for people to help those in need. According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, “there are more than 610,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in [the United States].” Giving food to these hundreds of thousands of homeless people is a humanitarian act that many Americans commit to every day. However, “[i]n recent years, cities across the nation have established a precedent of criminalizing homelessness and pushing the problem out of sight.” This has been done through the implementation of food-sharing bans, also known as “anti-feeding ordinances.”

Photo Credit:Ed Yourdon, https://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/2905921539