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Hood defies city order halting food distribution

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Days before Christmas, The Salvation Army Long Beach Corps, under the leadership of Corps Officers Majors Jim and (Dr.) Sallyann Hood, refused to comply with a city order to stop distributing food to needy families from its location on Long Beach Boulevard.

With hundreds of low-income families waiting to receive goods for the holidays, an order from the Planning and Building Department was sent to stop food distribution.

The city’s notice came nearly three weeks after the Army won a Superior Court ruling ordering the city to give it a permit for the site at 3012 Long Beach Boulevard. The Army has distributed food from that location for the past four years.

The city, however, refused to issue the conditional use permit and appealed the court ruling.

Consequently, The Salvation Army was in violation of the city code, stated a supervisor at the Planning and Building Department.

Concerned that needy families would be left out during the holiday season, the Army continued to distribute food. “If I complied now, 800 to 1,000 families would have no Christ-mas,” said Hood.

The Salvation Army applied in April 1999 for a food distribution permit, which the City Council unanimously denied in October 1999. The Salvation Army filed suit in January 2000 and the court ruled in its favor on December 4, 2000.

In a letter to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, former Seventh District council member Mike Donelon said, “I was pleased…that the Superior Court ruled in favor of The Salvation Army for food distribution at the site at 3012 Long Beach Blvd….The Salvation Army has been a good neighbor, not just in Long Beach, but across the United States. Their work for the less fortunate at Christmas should be an inspiration to all of us.”

–from a Press-Telegram story by Neda Raouf

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