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South Carolina city requires fees and permits to feed the homeless

Posted by on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 @ 1:30 pm.


February 25, 2014

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After more than a decade of feeding the homeless in Columbia, South Carolina, one group’s tradition could be in danger of ending as the city begins enforcing rules to limit the gathering of large groups in public parks.

As of February 15, Columbia began requiring any group of 25 people or more to pay for and obtain a permit 15 days in advance if they wished to use the city’s parks for an event. This requirement was extended even to non-profit groups and charities, though their fees would be smaller.

The problem for one of the most well-known groups that feeds the homeless, however, is that it doesn’t even qualify as a charity. For about 12 years, Food Not Bombs has been gathering in a Columbia park to share meals with those less fortunate. That tradition is in jeopardy, according to organizer Judith Turnipseed, since the new policy would force the group to pay at least $120 per week in order to meet.

“We have no formal organization,” Turnipseed told the weekly South Carolina newspaper Free Times.“We don’t have a 501(c)(3). We’re just a group of people who come to the park and bring food and share it with anyone who comes. That includes people who are homeless, and people who have a home but are hungry. It’s a people’s picnic.”

What’s more, efforts by Food Not Bombs to join a new shelter organized by Christ Central Ministries have ended in failure as well, leaving the group to consider taking legal action against the city in order to maintain its ability to gather in the parks.

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Short URL: https://www.disclosurenewsonline.com/?p=38909

Posted by on Feb 26 2014. Filed under South Carolina. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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