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Woman arrested for feeding people in need

Woman arrested for feeding people in need

A 78-year-old grandma was arrested and charged making homecooked meals for those without a home to cook in

A 78-year-old woman ended up getting arrested and charged with a criminal misdemeanour for feeding people in need.

When grandmother Norma Thornton retired to Bullhead City, Arizona, she met people in need of a good meal in Bullhead City Community Park.

She met the homeless and locals who could barely afford housing, and, being a former restaurateur, she decided to cook some homemade meals for people who didn't have a home of their own to cook in.

With the nearest food pantries located miles away and far out of reach for those in need around the park, Norma spent four years bringing hot food to the park's picnic tables and sharing it with anyone who asked for a bite to eat.

While people don't stay in the park overnight, there are several who went there during the day to make use of the shade, benches and restroom facilities available to the public.

In many ways it was the perfect place for Norma to help people who were in dire need of a good meal, bringing food to them in a place where they could sit in the shade and enjoy it.

78-year-old Norma Thornton was arrested for serving meals to homeless people.
Institute for Justice

However, on 8 March, the 78-year-old's acts of charity and kindness were brought to a halt when Norma was arrested and charged with violating the city's ordinance by a police officer who told his superiors he thought the arrest was 'a PR nightmare'.

She was threatened with spending 120 days in jail and faced a fine of over $1,400.

Refusing to plead guilty as she felt she'd done nothing wrong, months later the charges against her were eventually dropped.

Despite this, Norma was told that if she was ever again caught handing out food to the needy in the park again then she'd be thrown in jail.

Norma makes meals for the homeless and those struggling to afford food.
Institute for Justice

Not wanting to be kept down, the grandma still shares her food with people who need it, but now she has to do it in a private alleyway away from the people who relied on her kindness.

Norma has since teamed up with the Institute for Justice and has filed a lawsuit against Bullhead City aiming to strike down the city's ordinance and clearing the way for the 78-year-old to once again give food to those who need it most.

The Institute for Justice is trying to raise funds to help causes like Norma's and you can find more information about donating to help them out here.

UNILAD has contacted Bullhead City for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Institute for Justice/YouTube

Topics: US News, News, Crime