USDA Says Florida Food Pantry Must Remove Its Christian Symbols
Written by Dave Bohon
A Florida Christian ministry that has been distributing food to the needy for the past 31 years said it will drop all connections with the federal USDA agriculture bureaucracy rather than bow to orders that it must remove Christian symbols from its facility. Fox News reported that officials from the Christian Service Center of Lake City (CSC), Florida, were told by the state agriculture department that in order to continue to receive food from the USDA they would have to remove portraits of Christ and a 10 Commandments display from their facility and stop giving Bibles to those who came for food.
“They told us they could no longer allow us to have any religious information where the USDA food is going to be,” the group’s executive director, Kay Daly, told Fox.
The USDA policy boils down to the “separation of church and state” that secular groups read into the First Amendment. A USDA spokesperson explained to Fox News that “under current law, organizations that receive USDA nutrition assistance can still engage in religious activities so long as the activity is not used to create a barrier to eligible individuals receiving food.” In the minds of USDA bureaucrats, a banner in the CSC that reads “Jesus Is Lord” and pictures representing Jesus equate into a barrier to those coming to the facility for help.
Instead of complying with the ruling, Daly said, the group has decided to simply drop the USDA’s help and trust God for His provision. “If God can multiply fish and loaves for 10,000 people, he can certainly bring in food for our food pantry so we can continue to feed the hungry,” said Daly.
Daly told the Christian Post that when a counselor with CSC meets with a person in need, “We ask them if they know Jesus Christ and if we may share with them. If they decline, we don’t. If they do want to, we share the gospel with them. Sometimes we lead them to the Lord and sometimes we don’t.”