A church’s plan to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving Day hit a snag when some of its members were ordered to stop giving out meals at a Palm Beach County park.
“We were just kind of blown away,” he said. “We were there to feed the homeless, to feed the people that just don’t get a nice warm meal like the rest of us do.”
Attempts to reach county officials were unsuccessful Friday. The ranger who approached the group at the Lake Worth park told Sun Sentinel news partner CBS 12 he was following orders. He said he couldn’t comment further.
County code says the parks and recreation director has the authority to set guidelines for permitting special events.
Acts 2 pastor Calvin Lyerla said his church has given meals to the homeless each Thanksgiving for several years. That includes at public parks, he said, and there’s never been an issue before.
This year, the church had 100 meals to give out. One group headed to Riviera Beach, while the other went to John Prince Park.
There, they found many homeless people happy to have a Thanksgiving dinner.
“We’re grateful, you know,” Kevin Rudd told CBS 12.
“God takes care of us,” Steven Griffin said.
Oakes said the group was able to give out the remaining meals without problems.
Lyerla said if there’s a rule that blocks people from feeding the homeless in parks, maybe authorities could have been more flexible on Thursday.
“It is Thanksgiving,” he said. “Let’s bend the code, then, just in this case.”