News Release

Food Not Bombs Wins Against City Gov Trying to Stop Free Meals; Other Battles Continue

The city government of Fort Lauderdale has settled with the local chapter of Food Not Bombs after trying to hinder them from distributing free meals. This followed a series of legal victories by the group, see Courthouse News Service piece from August 31, 2021 “11th Circuit finds Fort Lauderdale limits on food sharing in parks unconstitutional.

The group just issued a statement: “Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs vs City of Fort Lauderdale Court Case is Finally Settled!”It took seven years, but Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs’ federal civil liberties lawsuit against Fort Lauderdale for banning food sharings is finally concluding. After we won our second appeal in August 2021, the City has accepted a settlement that admits they were wrong to enforce the Park Rule against us and will pay us a small amount of damages. They will also have to pay our lawyers a great deal more!

“These results are on top of the victories this lawsuit already accomplished in years’ prior, including the 2018 appeals ruling that ruled that the original sharing ban law was unconstitutional — and creating a strongly worded precedent about sharing food as protected free speech.” See full statement on Facebook.
Available for interviews:

NATHAN PIM, swampzine@gmail.com
Pim is one of the plantiffs with with Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs.

KEITH McHENRY, keith@foodnotbombs.net@keith_mchenry

McHenry is co-founder of the global Food Not Bombs movement. He is currently in Houston, where the local chapter is defying the city government, risking arrest. See recent piece in the Houston Chronicle: “Refusing to comply with city ordinance, Food Not Bombs Houston continues to feed the hungry.”

Said McHenry: “Sharing free food with the hungry is an unreguated gift of love. …. Governments have no business interfering with anyone who is sharing food with the hungry. We aren’t stopping those governments from meeting the needs of the people in their community.”

Also see: “Cities Undermine the Holiday Spirit with Unconstitutional Bans on Sharing Food with the Homeless” in Reason.

McHenry noted: “The Point-in-Time count will be at the end of January and even though a huge undercount, it should reflect the increased need in people seeking food.

“While most indoor soup kitchens shut down during the pandemic, Food Not Bombs continured to share with the unhoused.”