Don’t Restrict Food for the Homeless


Target: Barack Obama, President of the United States

Goal: Provide hot, healthy meals for the less fortunate across America

Across America, cities are introducing various measures aimed at criminalizing or over-regulating food sharing with the homeless. In the past year, 21 cities have enacted such laws, with at least 30 more currently considering them. According to a study by the National Coalition for the Homeless, these cities are forcing food-sharing programs off of public property,  demanding they adhere to strict food preparation laws, or even forcing organizations to purchase city permits to feed the homeless.

Charitable food-sharing organizations are a lifeline for over 600,000 Americans affected by homelessness. A report by the Queen’s Nursing Institute states that the diets of the homeless are high in carbohydrates, saturated fat, and sugars, while lacking in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This is due to a lack of affordable home-cooked meals, forcing the less fortunate to turn to cheap and accessible fast food or convenience-store options, which are often highly processed.

If cities like Miami, Atlanta, Denver, and Phoenix get their way, there will be even fewer places for less fortunate people to get a hot, healthy meal. With illness, disability, or a lack of transportation common issues for homeless people, more people than ever will suffer ongoing hunger.

As more major cities move to make food-sharing difficult or illegal, other areas in the nation could pick up the trend. The result could further hunger and malnourishment for the less fortunate as food insecurity continues to rise. Sign the petition below to demand that the United States government work to help the homeless by ensuring that the over-regulation of charitable meal organizations is addressed on a nationwide level.


Dear President Obama,

Major cities across the nation such as Miami, Denver, and Atlanta are currently considering legislation that would limit charities’ abilities to feed the homeless. In the past year, 21 cities have enacted such laws, making it increasingly difficult for the less fortunate to access a hot and healthy meal.

Most Americans living in poverty have a diet high in saturated fats, sugars, and carbohydrates with low vitamin and mineral content due to their intake of cheap and easily accessible foods. Sometimes, a meal from a charity kitchen is the only nutritionally balanced meal that a homeless person may get in a day.

With food insecurity rising, it is important to take action on a national level to ensure that America’s less fortunate are fed. Rather than trying to make the homeless less visible by over-regulating food-sharing operations, they should be addressing hunger, the root of the problem. We, the undersigned, demand that the federal government take action against cities attempting to hinder charitable food programs.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: jeffreyw via Creative Commons

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135 Signatures

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