A San Antonio businesswoman found herself in hot water with Texas government officials after feeding the homeless through her mobile food service.
Joan Cheever, owner of the “The Chow Train,” was slapped with a fine on April 7 for serving food that that didn’t come from a commercial kitchen, The Blaze reported.
Cheever says the citation violates her religious liberty and stated on her Facebook page that the purpose of her non-profit business is “Fighting hunger. One plate at a time.”
Cheever told The Church Boys podcast that while she plans to show up to court on June 23 to defend herself and her ministry, she doesn’t intend to pay the fine because she isn’t guilty of any wrongdoing.
“I would tell [the courts] there is nothing wrong in the law or in their hearts that can stop a good Samaritan from helping someone who needs help,” she said.
“We take care of each other as a community, and sometimes people fall down and we have to help them up.
“They cannot make a good Samaritan into a criminal.”
Cheever maintains she’s been feeding the poor for years and has had regular, friendly encounters with police who’ve thanked her for her service.
But something changed the night officers reportedly showed up and said they had orders to issue Cheever a citation for not having a license.
Cheever explained to The Church Boys that she did have a permit, but police said it wasn’t sufficient because the actual food trailer wasn’t with her at the time.
“That permit … is attached to the food trailer. The food trailer wasn’t with us,” she said.
Cheever said the trailer wasn’t there because of its large size and cumbersome nature to maneuver on certain city streets.
“We had been moving the food from the food trailer, into catering equipment, into the pickup truck that pulls the trailer.”
And for that, she’s apparently being punished.
Cheever told the police she wouldn’t be stopped. When she showed up for work the next week she was greeted by supporters eager to cheer her on.
There was a park “filled with at least 100 people holding candles and signs, and the news channels were all there,” she said.
Cheever started a fundraiser to support her ministry and business as she goes through the legal process.
“I was raised in the Catholic Church,” she said. “I take the Bible seriously.”
Cheever’s interview with The Church Boys via the Blaze can be heard at the 40:00 mark.
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