In Orlando, an ordinance requires groups to get a permit to feed 25 or more people in parks in a downtown district. Groups are limited to two permits per year for each park. Since then, numerous activists have been arrested for violating the law.
Despite being charged with violating a new law by feeding the homeless in South Florida, 90-year-old Arnold Abbott said he’s not deterred and even went back out to serve more food at a public park.
The faceoff in Fort Lauderdale over the ordinance restricting public feeding of the homeless has pitted those with compassionate aims against residents and businesses trying to protect their neighborhoods.
Abbott, affectionately known as “Chef Arnold,” and two South Florida ministers were charged last weekend as they handed out food. They were accused of breaking the ordinance and each faces up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
“One of the police officers said, `Drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon,” Abbott said.