A 78-year-old Christian grandmother has been arrested for feeding the homeless in her Arizona town — something she has done almost daily for the past four years.
Norma Thornton cooked food for the poor and handed it out to them in a public park at Bullhead City, south of Las Vegas.
Police officers arrested and fingerprinted her because under a city ordinance it is illegal to give out prepared food in the park for charitable purposes without a permit.
A permit is expensive and only allows one feeding for a two-hour period per month.
But Norma refuses to stop her charitable calling.
She has moved her ministry to a private alleyway which isn’t covered by the ordinance.
But she still worries it isn’t ideal for those who desperately need food.
She said it was “dehumanising” to make homeless people sit on the ground and lamented the absence of park benches where they could sit and eat their meals.
The park also had running water and bathroom facilities.
Norma’s taking legal action against Bullhead City over the ordinance that stops her feeding the homeless in the park.
She says her encouragement to push forward and continue feeding the poor comes from her faith.
“The number one motivation is my Saviour Jesus Christ and His Father. We are told repeatedly the first and most foremost commandment is love. Love thy neighbour. Love your fellow man. He said several times: ‘What you do to the least of my people, you do to Me.’ That’s basically my motivation.”