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Denied City and County Parking Lots, Food Not Bombs is back at the Town Clock
by Keith McHenry (posted, with notes by Norse) (rnorse3 [at]
Denied City and County Parking Lots, Food Not Bombs, Keith McHenry reports, is now serving regularly at the Town Clock noon to 4 PM Daily. In spite of initial apprehensions, County Health has apparently backed off its "Get a Permit or Perish" strategy--okaying FNB's daily use of the Calvary Episcopal Church kitchen at a cost of a mere $4000/month.

Another victory against the “Charitable Feeding Permit of Hunger” - The threat to evict us from the kitchen is over.

The good people at the Santa Cruz Environmental Heath Department responded positively to our refusal to accept or request the State’s “Charitable Feeding Permit”. We will continue to prepare our daily meals at the Little Red Church as we have for much of the pandemic.

Sharing of food is always an unregulated gift of compassion. No governments have any right to grant permission to share food. This is even more the case when those same governments refuse to feed their people.

Cooperation with the so called "Charitable Feeding Permit" is cooperation with the state's policy of starving our poor and unhoused and we will never participate in their program.

This issue has been put to rest and there will be no more problems with the county as they know our food is safe and that if our meals are interrupted hundreds of people will have to seek food by extra-legal means.

Food Not Bombs volunteers have shared free hot meals every day since the pandemic started on March 14, 2020, when we first set up at the Town Clock.

When we learned that the weekday meals at Louden Nelson, St Francis and the Monday Coffee House at the Little Red Church would be shuttered we agreed to fill this void and began our daily service. I am sure most of us who attended that first pandemic planning meeting at Lulu Carpenters thought we were signing up to a month or two of daily service and would return to providing meals on weekends at the Post Office.

After nearly a dozen evictions we have returned to the Town Clock where we first set up the Santa Cruz Homeless Union COVID-19 Relief Center and Food Not Bombs Meal.

As has been the case for nearly two years now the people of Santa Cruz continue to arrive to our site delivering clothing, tents, food, cash contributions and words of encouragement. Many local people also contribute $5, $10 and $50 donations on line at our website. There were times yesterday where two or three vehicles lined Knight Street unloading gifts of survival gear and groceries. Others passed $20s to us to help with our items like our church and dumpster rent.

We will be thanking the people of Santa Cruz for their support at a free concert on Sunday, March 13, 2022, at the Town Clock.

While the government refuses to provide food, clothing and housing the working class people of our community stepped up and met the needs of hundreds of their neighbors who have been forced into poverty.

We have proven that the people can take care of ourselves and remain independent of the government whose only interest is supporting property speculators and architects of the global Build Back Better “stakeholder capitalism”.

Free Concert with Johnny and the Free Thinkers
Sunday, March 13, 2022
Noon to 4:00 PM
The Town Clock
Pacific Avenue and Water Streets, Santa Cruz, California

Food Not Bombs thanks the people of Santa Cruz for two years of support during the pandemic. We could not have done it without you. Please join us.

Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs
PO Box 422, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 USA
menu [at]

NORSE'S NOTES: Calvary Episcopal Church is to be commended for opening its kitchen to Food Not Bombs to prepare their daily survival-for-those-outside meals. That said, Calvary is still reportedly charging $4000 per month for that limited use.

Churches in the AFC (Association of Faith Communities) have provided relatively little in terms of homeless sanctuary or services--even to the extent of generally not allowing their bathrooms and parking lots to be used at night.

Churches have had nearly three decades to do the "Christian" or at least kindly thing since City Council voted in 1995 to "grant" churches "the right" to "allow" three vehicles in their parking lots at night for sleeping purposes. Few churches in Santa Cruz have done this. None on a regular and publicly-announced basis.

When the former Assistant City Manager Scott Collins, argued without success before the 2016 Coastal Commission to rubberstamp Richelle Niroyan's deepnight RV parking ban, even he couldn't give a credible list of churches that actually allowed RV's to park overnight.

The Safe Parking Program is ballyhooed in the City Council's - OVO (Oversized Vehicle Ordinance), recently approved by the Zoning Administrator (though headed for an appeal at the Planning Commission on window dressing that will supposedly allow the Coastal Commission to reverse its 2016 decision.

That decision essentially struck down the Santa Cruz deepnight RV ban pushed by Councilwoman Richelle Niroyan. The City's "new and improved" OVO (Oversized Vehicle Ordinance) is essentially the same law with an added plan (on paper) to set up spaces for visiting and local RVs. which has little brick-and-mortar counterpart.

This along with an unsubstantiated "RV crime problem" would meet the Commission's 11-1 standard for rejecting the previous Ban.

Together with the CSSO (Community Services and Standards Ordinance--the intensified Sleeping Ban), the OVO with its shelter-and-storage window-dressing allows the City to ignore the federal Martin v. Boise decision.

The plan was rushed to ratification by a compliant Zoning Administrator, but is now on appeal by the Santa Cruz Cares group to the Planning Commission--which will hold a hearing I'm told on February 17th.

Meanwhile AFC continues to claim a lion's share of the credit for a mouse's amount of actual vehicular shelter and homeless services.
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