Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler is defending a recently passed citywide ordinance that essentially bans public food sharing among local citizens.

To be specific, the City of Fort Lauderdale Commission’s decree states that groups distributing food outdoors will have to provide portable toilets for use by those receiving the subsidies and even the workers distributing them.

“Just because of media attention, we don’t stop enforcing the law,” Mayor Seiler recently told ABC News. “We enforce the laws here in Fort Lauderdale. Providing [the homeless] with a meal and keeping them in that cycle on the street is not productive.”

Already two pastors and 90-year-old local resident and longtime activist Arnold Abbott have so strongly disagreed with the new enactments they have been criminally charged with violating it. Abbott currently faces up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine on his charges.

Founder of the non-profit “Love Thy Neighbor,” Abbott, is a World War 11 veteran and retired jewelry salesman. He has been serving meals to the homeless for more than 23 years. Abbott recently told reporters he feels the only option he has is to go to court and continue fighting against what he views as unfair policies.

It’s not unfamiliar territory for him. Back in 1999, he sued the City of Fort Lauderdale for trying to prevent him from feeding homeless people on a city beach and ultimately won his case.

“We will continue as long as there is breath in my body,” Abbott now says of preserving his program, and the beachside food-fests he coordinates in conjunction with the 5th Avenue Temple Church of God. “It’s the most gorgeous place. The homeless enjoy the beach, with the same comforts as anyone else. So we feel very strongly that that’s important.”

[Photo Credit: Steve Rhode]