According to reports published by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, over sixty cities across twenty-five states require prior permits, with burdensome restrictions, for people to share food lawfully with hungry people while assembling on ostensibly public, but actually city-owned, properties. (In over a dozen cases, failure to obtain such permits resulted in arrest and prosecution for a misdemeanor.)

One way to understand the food-sharing cases, therefore, is to study carefully the cities that enact such laws, particularly in terms of their local history, politics, civil rights struggles, etc.

Thus, in the coming months, I plan to create pages to present the food-sharing cases within their urban contexts.