Two Food Not Bombs chapters are suing the state and city of Middletown health departments over a cease and desist order that prevents the group from sharing vegetarian meals.
In April, the city of Middletown Health department issued a cease and desist order against Food Not Bombs which has held regular meal sharing events on Main Street for the last ten years. The city and state health departments say the events violate health codes because the food is not prepared in a kitchen that's registered with the Heath department.
Attorney for the plaintiffs, Peter Goselin says Food Not Bombs is suing because the health department is infringing on the group's first amendment rights
"It's not a matter of the name of the organization or the political intent with which these meals are being shared but just the idea itself that a group of people who are committed to sharing healthy food with other members of the community in a public place because they're being told they can't do that because that's an unacceptable activity, that in itself is a first amendment violation."
Goselin says the group isn't violating health codes because they are a community organization sharing food unlike a restaurant or soup kitchen which are regulated by the health department.
The state health department declined to comment on the lawsuit and the city of Middletown did not return calls seeking comment.