Tampa Police give leftover Republican convention lunches to Romneyville homeless camp listen08/30/12 Janelle Irwin
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Police presence around the Romneyville camp has been tight this week, but today they showed up not for security, but to hand out food. Hundreds of left over boxed lunches were given to people sleeping in tents in downtown Tampa.
Inside the white boxes were massive sandwiches, chips and fresh fruit. Most of the people staying at Romneyville don’t have homes and often wonder where their next meal will come from. The camp had a bus that served as a kitchen, but one camper who called himself Bless said the owner left the camp this morning.
“So, the officers were kind enough to bring us breakfast and for the most part, as you can tell, everyone appreciates it.”
Officers also handed out cold bottled water and sports drinks to a grateful and thirsty crowd. The camp’s organizer, Bruce Wright said after a few days of heavy police presence, the meals were a welcomed act of kindness.
“We’ve been trying to say all along that we were peaceful protests and apparently the police are understanding that now because they’re bringing us food and water. It’s nice to see this kind of thing actually. I’m pleasantly surprised as I think a lot of us are.”
Wright said he suspects the officers were glad to help out.
“Some of them I’m sure feel like, man, this was overkill. We didn’t even need to have all these police here.”
The boxed lunches were given to National Guard members earlier this week. Assistant Tampa Police Chief John Bennett was one of the officers delivering the meals. He said they didn’t want the food to get thrown away when there were people going hungry. He declined to comment on tape.