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Related Categories: California | Health, Housing & Public Services
Governor Brown Signs AB-2178 Into Law
by San Francisco Food Not Bombs (sffnbvolunteers [at] riseup.net)
Friday Sep 21st, 2018 1:17 PM
On September 18, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB-2178, making it the law in California, adding new restrictions on the ability of volunteer and non-profit community groups to share free food.
On September 18, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB-2178, making it the law in California.

We described AB-2178’s new restrictions on the ability of volunteer and non-profit community groups to share free food: https://sffnb.org/2018/09/14/call-governor-jerry-brown-to-veto-ab-2178-which-would-restrict-our-right-to-share-free-food/

From the text of AB-2178 (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB2178):

"The bill would define that operation as an operation for food service to a consumer solely for providing charity, that is conducted by a nonprofit charitable organization, as defined, and whose food service is limited to any of specified functions. The bill would specify that the operation would not include a temporary food facility or a nonprofit charitable temporary food facility, as specified. The bill would prohibit the operation from providing food service unless it has registered with the local enforcement agency, with specified exceptions involving performance of a certain function or operation in conjunction with a food bank, and would require a limited service charitable feeding operation subject to registration, or a food bank, if applicable, to submit certain information to the agency."

In short, AB-2178 would require groups, like San Francisco Food Not Bombs, to register with the local enforcement agency in order to continue sharing free home-cooked meals with anyone who wants one as we have been doing without any incidents or problems for many years.

The California Legislature and Governor Brown have made our sharing of food a misdemeanor crime: “By creating a new crime and by imposing duties on local officials, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.”

Food Not Bombs does not define itself as a “charitable organization.” We share food in order to fulfill a basic human need currently unmet by US society. In addition, as the name indicates, Food Not Bombs is a criticism and protest of the grossly misguided priorities of the political economy.