Who would’ve thought you’d need to pay $500 to feed the hungry? This is a reality for Rick Wood, an Alabama pastor from The Lord’s House of Prayer — local police told him he could not feed the poor until he had a permit, ThinkProgress reports.
Stocking his truck with hot dogs and bottled water, the pastor would drive around Birmingham feeding the poor twice a month. Plastered on the side of his truck is a scripture verse, Matthew 25:35-40, that reads, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” Last month, however, law enforcement impeded Wood from continuing his charitable deeds because he was allegedly breaking a new city law.
“The new regulation requires food trucks to get a permit, which can cost as much as $500,” ThinkProgress adds. Though the new ordinance is only directed to retail food vendors, not charities, Wood was still reprimanded for his beneficence in the community.
“That makes me so mad. These people are hungry. They’re starving. They need help from people. They can’t afford to buy something from a food truck,” Wood said in an interview with ABC News.
The pastor believes there’s an ulterior motive behind the law enforcement’s hindrance of Wood’s helping hand: “I’m just totally shocked that the city is turning their backs toward the homeless. It’s like they’re trying to chase them out the city,” he said.
The displaced population in Birmingham has dropped 36 percent in the last five years, but there are still many in need of help. According to 2013 survey, there are 1,469 homeless people in the Alabama city. “The homeless can’t help the position they’re in,” Wood said. “They need help.”
Though Wood cannot feed as many people as he used to prior to police intervention, he has vowed to continue feeding the poor without his truck.