Nine people are now facing misdemeanor charges in El Cajon, California, after handing out food to the homeless Sunday.
Volunteers and groups showed up to Wells Park to hand out food, clothes, shoes and toiletries.
El Cajon police wrote up citations to each person handing out food, including 14-year-old Ever Parmley. “I was passing out food and this guy was like can you step aside please," she told NBC 7.
They were each charged with a misdemeanor for violating El Cajon municipal code 1.28.010. The ordinance prohibits "food sharing" in public spaces, which includes City parks.
Charles Marks tells NBC 7, “I’ve been given a court date under the impression this represents being arrested on a misdemeanor, but it’s just a citation."
Back in October, El Cajon City Council passed an ordinance that restricts residents from food sharing. The ordinance came at the height of the Hepatitis A outbreak.
In November, NBC 7 talked with councilmembers after signs were posted at Wells Park about the ordinance.
Councilmember Ben Kalasho tells NBC 7,“what we're saying is feeding them at city parks is a bad idea given the situation that we're in with the hepatitis A outbreak and the fact that it makes the place completely messy afterward.”
Kalasho continued, “you can go out there, pick them up, take them back to your house and feed them and board them and room them and have them take a shower if you're really wanting to help."