[1/8/17] Temperatures were dipping into unfriendly territory Saturday afternoon as sports fans flocked to the events at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
At nearby Lykes Gaslight Park, members of Tampa’s homeless community were gathered for hot coffee and bagels, courtesy of the group Food Not Bombs.
There were no altercations, no illicit substances, no bad behavior—unless you count that, according to the City of Tampa, that coffee and bagels were illegal.
Because you have to have a special permit in order to offer free food to the needy in city parks. But obtaining a city permit to feed the homeless twice a week—to set up a table and open bags of chips and bagels and spoon organic beans and rice from a pot—can be pricey because of the insurance policy the city requires.
Given how often they do it (homeless people have to eat frequently, too), that can add up.
Volunteers with Food Not Bombs knew their actions were technically illegal. They had been warned about it earlier in the week.