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Why is it illegal to feed the homeless in Wilmington?

Shelby Sebens
StarNews

Volunteers Martin Irwin (left) and Gary Carmichael load a First Fruit Ministries van before going to feed the homeless on July 18, 2007. Staff Photo By Mike Spencer/STAR-NEWS

The simple answer is that it’s not, New Hanover County Assistant Health Director Joshua Swift said. New Hanover County does require an application, for example, when three or more nonprofit organizations want to hold an event where they hand out free food. That process is free and is to ensure safe and clean food handling procedures are followed, Swift said.

The city does restrict panhandling, or begging by intimidation, in public areas.

To read the city ordinance on panhandling, click here.

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Joe Santos

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