By Scott Keyes
A group that for years has handed out food to the homeless in Raleigh every weekend was threatened with arrest if they continued their charity work.
This past Saturday, Rev. Hugh Hollowell and other members of Love Wins Ministries (LWM), a Christian organization based in Raleigh, shuttled over hot coffee and 100 breakfast sandwiches to feed the needy downtown. Though a Raleigh city ordinance prevents anyone from distributing food in a park without a permit, LWM had a “good working relationship with the Raleigh Police Department” and had disbursed food from the sidewalk for the past six years, according to the group’s website.
However, this weekend was different, for reasons that are not yet clear. As LWM was setting up, they were approached by Raleigh police officers who informed them that if they tried to hand out their breakfast sandwiches, they would be arrested. As 70 needy people watched and waited for breakfast, LWM was forced to pack up the sandwiches and leave without distributing any food. They were told that a permit would cost $1,600 every weekend for use of the park, but the officer allegedly told them it was unlikely their application would be approved regardless.
As LWM notes, there are no soup kitchens in Raleigh that are still open on the weekends, so their work has been pivotal