TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Tuscon Police Department Park Safety Team wants the community to know giving out food in a city park without a permit goes against city ordinance.
"As it is a good deed to provide to others, there are other alternatives you can refer to without violating the law,” said a statement posted by the team on Twitter.
The statement said distributing food in a park can cause trash to pile up, which creates a health hazard, and can increase the homeless population in parks.
Jahmar Anthony, the founder of Deejays Against Hunger, said he disagrees with the ordinance. He worries it will create a barrier for people who want to give back.
“You have a lot of people out there who are wanting to help the homeless, but when you make them jump through more and more hoops to do it, a lot of people are going to be like I'm not even gonna bother with it,” Anthony said.
The police department encourages the community to donate to a food bank or volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen instead of giving out food at a city park.
Tucson resident Rosa Jackson said telling the homeless population where to find resources is the hardest part.
"It's a little bit difficult when someone doesn't have access,” she said. “They don't have a home, they don't have access to a radio or a television.”