In what amounts to an escalation of the Middletown Health Department’s crackdown on Food Not Bombs, today’s meal was interrupted—for the second week in a row—by Public Health Sanitarian Manfred Rehm and officers of the Middletown Police Department. Rehm (see photo on right), after consulting with supervisor Sal Nesci, confiscated all the food that Food Not Bombs had prepared to distribute to members of the Middletown community.
“They took the food right out of my hands before I could get it into my mouth,” said Reverend Cocomo Rock of the 191914 Ministries. “And then he told me he was going to throw all of it in the garbage.”
Sunday, soon after members of the local Food Not Bombs chapter set up tables and placed pots of jambalaya, rice, beans, tofu, and cake on the table as part of a meal they share with the community, the Public Health Sanitarian Manfred Rehm began photographing the activities with his cell phone. He could then be heard calling his supervisor, health department manager Sal Nesci, asking for a directive.
“The press is here,” Rehm was heard to say. “And they want to talk to someone.
“On the other end of the phone, Nesci could be heard clearly to say, “Tell them no comment.”
After calling in two police officers, Rehm confiscated all the prepared foods. When the members of the group asked about the pots and spoons he was taking, Rehm indicated they could pick up the cooking utensils at the Health Department on Monday.
Food Not Bombs member Abe Bobman ’11 was issued a summons to appear in court for the commission of a misdemeanor—distributing food without a license. Last week, Food Not Bomb members were issued tickets.
[Photo by Ed McKeon at Middletown Eye News.]