The Metro Campers is a gathering of people that includes ANYONE willing to eat free food. Most of the Metro Campers eat at this location on Sunday afternoons. Many of the Metro Campers do actually live in the public streets, camping out in public. Some stay in shelters. Some are not "homeless". All come to eat because eating healthy food is important, and provides life-giving sustenance.
In 2007 Alfonso Hernandez joined the Metro Campers at the 4th Street Mall, supporting free food for hungry folks. Most of the food available at 1:30 on Sundays for the Metro Campers was organic produce--fruits and veggies. Trinity House (Catholic Worker) sent some of their bounty of food to the scene (meals or fresh raw food), while continuing to serve at Soldiers and Sailors Park during the summer and autumn of 2007. Some Metro Campers attended both scenes (at 4th and Copper and also at 13th & Central--S&S Park). Police harassed the folks sharing free lunch at S&S park that summer, at the instigation of neighbors. No crimes were ever committed at S&S Park, so the neighbors main fear was allayed, and the harassment stopped.
The free food continued unabated at 4th & Copper in 2008, 2009, and the first half of 2010. Trinity House was not involved in acquiring or delivering the food.
Leona Easley and her daughters helped deliver free pizza slices to the Metro Campers in 2008.
"The Pizza Lady" (Leona) started bringing out drinks and other items for the Sunday free lunch to the Metro Campers in 2009. All was well and happy. A new mayor (named Berry) was elected, and the police started harassing Metro Campers at 4th & Copper in mid-2010. See below for details.
The confusion between the Food Ordinance and the Food Code.
|Alfonso Hernandez||11 January (9am)||1=Soliciting without a Business License,
2=Resisting/Obstructing/Refusing to Obey APD,
|CONVICTED; appealing in District Court on March 29th|
|Ben Abbott||12 January (9am)||Trespassing||CONVICTED; but plea bargained into innocence after 30 days of good behavior|
|Jennifer Gage||12 January (9am)||1=?||continued 'til March 7th||Michael Herrick||24 January (9am)||1=Trespassing,
2=Failure to Obey APD
|Derek Minno-Bloom||24 February (2pm)||Trespassing||"Continuance" for 90 days; if no law-breaking by May 25th, then charges dropped.|