Birmingham food truck ordinances blocking local church groups from feeding the homeless

Rick Wood gives food and water to a homeless man near his tent under an overpass near downtown Birmingham, Saturday, March 29, 2014. (

It's routine to serve the homeless every other Saturday for Minister Rick Wood with The Lords House of Prayer in Oneonta, but he was recently stopped by the Birmingham Police Department because of a new city ordinance aimed at regulating food trucks.

Wood says the incident happened two weeks ago and he was shut down by police because they didn't have a permit from the city to serve food in Linn Park. He was told he needed a food truck and permit from the health department.

"That makes me so mad," Wood said. "These people are hungry. They're starving. They need help from people. They can't afford to buy something from a food truck."

Wood lives by the scripture Matthew 25, 35-40, which he has posted on his truck.

"I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was naked, I was sick and in prison," Wood said. "When you do to them, you do to me."

In spite of being stopped by police to serve the homeless, Wood plans to continue anyway. He wishes the city would address homeless problem and not ignore it.

"I'm just so totally shocked that the city is turning their back on the homeless like this," he said. "It's like they want to chase them out of the city. And the homeless can't help the position they're in. They need help."

Starting Tuesday ministries will be serving food at The Church of the Reconciler in downtown Birmingham.

Mayor William Bell wasn't available for comment.

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