San Antonio 'Good Samaritan' chef ticketed and fined $2,000 for feeding homeless

A celebrity chef and anti-hunger activists was ticketed and is facing up to $2,000 in fines for feeding San Antonio's homeless population without the proper permits.

According to, Joan Cheever of the nonprofit food truck Chow Train was cited on Tuesday evening for feeding homeless people in the city's Maverick Park.

For ten years, police have looked the other way when Cheever fed the homeless population restaurant-quality meals from her food truck each night. However, on Tuesday evening, two bike-patrol officers stopped and cited Cheever for serving and transporting food from a vehicle other than her licensed and certified food truck.

Cheever -- who is due in court on June 23 -- reportedly plans to argue that feeding the needy is integral to her personal faith and beliefs and is therefore covered under the state's "religious freedom" laws, which allow people of faith to break certain laws if to comply with them would place an undue burden on their faith.

In the following exchange with Officer Mike Marotta, Cheever asked him if this is how the City of San Antonio treats Good Samaritans.

Cheever: So any Good Samaritan that offers food for people that are in need or are homeless...

Officer Marrota: That’s great. You are a Good Samaritan...

Cheever: No, but…

SAPD Officer Marrota: It’s very nice that you are doing that. However…

Cheever: Do Good Samaritans get tickets in San Antonio?

Officer Marrota: Yes.

According to, "Cheever has also taken the Chow Train to areas around the country hit by natural disasters, like when deadly tornados hit Joplin, Missouri and Moore Oklahoma and when wild fires consumed Bastrop Texas. Cheever’s Good Samaritan culinary efforts caught the eye of cooking guru Rachael Ray and was invited on her television show last November."

Food truck (Jeff Whyte /" target="_blank">