Chef Joan Cheever from San Antonio, Texas, has spent the past ten years feeding the homeless high quality meals out of her non-profit food truck called the Chow Train. However, Cheever was recently given a $2,000 citation for violating a city ordinance that requires a permit for food distribution from a truck.
News 4 in San Antonio notes that Cheever has been delivering food to the homeless for the past 10 years. In fact, the chef’s good deeds have caught the attention of well-known chefs such as Rachel Ray. Chef Cheever has not only served the homeless in Texas, she has also traveled out-of-state to help victims during disasters. Despite having operated the Chow Train for years without incident, Cheever says she was recently handed a $2,000 citation from a police officer as she passed out her meals to the needy.
Cheever says that the office told her that what she was doing was “illegal” and “against city ordinance.” The chef says the police officer noted that when she packed the prepared meals in her regular pickup truck instead of her food truck, it caused a violation despite having a proper certified food manager certificate with her. Cheever says she objected and pointed out that many restaurants have food service delivery that comes in a standard truck, not a certified food truck. However, when looking at her citation, Cheever says the ticket noted that she needed a permit to pass out food in the location.
The chef says the citation has not stopped her from providing food to those who need it. She continues to bring the Chow Train to the homeless in her area and says she will be fighting the ticket in court. Cheever says she told the officer that she was protected by freedom of religion laws to help the needy, but the officer told her to “go to church” to pray. The chef was having none of it and informed the officer that, “This is how I pray. When I cook this food and deliver it to the people who are less fortunate.”
The woman says she will be at her court date on June 23 and will be fighting the ticket and for her right to continue her work for the homeless in her community.
“I just can’t believe it, giving someone a meal is a crime.”
This isn’t the first time someone has been told feeding the homeless is a crime. In fact, a Fort Lauderdale man was arrested for feeding the homeless.
What do you think about laws that prevent people from feeding the homeless?
[Image Credit: Facebook/ Chow Train]