A woman in San Antonio appeared in court Tuesday (June 23) to fight a ticket she received for providing food to the homeless.
Christian News Network reports Joan Cheever operates the Chow Train, a fully permitted food truck that serves 50 to 75 people each week. In April Cheever used her personal truck to deliver the food, believing that the food truck could not fit in a narrow alleyway.
Police approached Cheever requesting her permit. When she produced it, the authorities said the document only applied to her food truck, not her person vehicle.
Cheever told police that she believed feeding the homeless was protecting by the First Amendment as a religious right.
She told The Washington Post, “[One officer] said, ‘You think I’m infringing upon your right to practice your religion?’ Then he said, ‘Lady, if you want to pray, go to church.’”
“I said, ‘This is how I pray. I pray when I cook. I pray when I serve.’”
Cheever was then handed a ticket that could cost her up to $2,000.
She said, “It’s terrible to criminalize the poor, but it’s just as bad to say to the good Samaritans that you’re a criminal too. The Bible says, ‘When I was hungry, you fed me,’ and I take that seriously. This is the way I pray, and we’ll go to court on this.”
Publication date: June 24, 2015