This San Antonio Chef Is Fighting a $2,000 Fine for Feeding the Homeless

Joan Cheever, founder of the Chow Train, has been cited by San Antonio police for feeding a long line of homeless customers

Chef Joan Cheever has been feeding the homeless via her non-for-profit food truck for years, and this is the first ticket she has received.

In many parts of the country it’s a crime to feed the homeless. As ridiculous as that might sound, handouts for the homeless are banned in a number of cities across America. Just this past November, a 90-year-old man was arrested multiple times for feeding the hungry. Now in San Antonio, chef Joan Cheever, who has been running the non-for-profit food truck The Chow Train to feed the city’s homeless population for a decade, is now facing a $2,000 fine for the same “crime.” In response, Cheever set up a Go Fund Me campaign, and plans to fight the citation in court.

“It's now incredibly personal,” Cheever said in a Facebook post that cited the recent official court summons from the state. “The entire state of Texas v. little old me? This letter I received in the mail on Saturday just took my breath away. I dusted myself off and realized, I'm in it to win it. Not for me or The Chow Train, but for all of us. One meal, one sandwich, one hug and one smile.”

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Cheever told The Washington Post that local cops check on her food truck from time to time, but that earlier this month, a pair of “unsmiling cops” approached her and gave her the fine. The “feeding bans,” which have been popping up all over the nation, are meant to “de-incentivize the homeless.” According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 71 cities across the nation have made it illegal to feed the homeless.