The owner of a San Antonio food truck has been slapped with a $2,000 fine for feeding some of her city’s homeless, and she is not going to pay it without a fight.
Joan Cheever has been running a nonprofit food truck since 2005. During that same span, on Tuesdays, she’s also dedicated herself to serving free meals to the area homeless, typically without incident. But earlier this month, local police cited Cheever for her activities, despite the fact that her food truck is fully licensed. According to Cheever, police said her food truck permit didn’t allow her to serve food from outside of her truck. The citation carries a fine up to $2,000. (A Texas Public Radio report says that Cheever had the proper permits at one time, but they were expired at the time of the incident.)
Far from backing down, Cheever, who is also a lawyer, has vowed to fight the citation and is even considering suing the city of San Antonio for violating her religious freedom. “I shouldn’t be the one on the hot seat here,” she told the Washington Post. “This is about every church group or individual who wants to serve a meal. 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.”