Atlanta Popeyes Calls Police On College Student Trying To Buy A Meal For A Homeless Man

An Atlanta Popeyes called the police on Georgia State University senior Jo Ortega for simply trying to feed a homeless man.

Jo was DoorDashing last week at the Popeyes off of Ponce De Leon Avenue in North West Atlanta, and she planned to buy a homeless man a meal who asked her for food.

When she went to the drive-thru window to purchase the meal, a Popeyes employee told her, “No ma’am you can’t do it. Ma’am, you can’t do it. I don’t care nothing about you recording me baby.”

She asked for the employee’s name, but the employee closed the drive-thru window in her face.

Joe Ortega said she was just trying to do a good deed, and she was in disbelief that the Popeye employees would not allow her to buy a two-piece for the homeless man.

She said they called the cops on her, and she was terrified.

At that moment I was terrified. I thought I was going to get arrested. So I was like, well maybe I should call my family and tell them I might not be coming home tonight.

The Atlanta Police Department (APD) showed up and commended Jo for buying the homeless man a meal, and they reassured her that she didn’t break any laws.

She eventually got in contact with the general manager of the store, and he felt terrible about how things played out.

He told her she could buy anything she wanted for her and the homeless man name Jazz that night.

Jo Ortega said that the homeless are often treated like “stray cats.”

Oftentimes the homeless are treated like stray animals, stay cats.

If you feed them, they’re going to keep coming back.

We don’t want them to keep coming back.

In all of this, I believe, you know, people deserve to be treated like people.

After receiving negative attention online, the Atlanta Popeyes off Ponce released a statement saying that all of their employees have been retrained on how to talk to guests.

Watch the FOX5 Atlanta news report below:

Watch the TikTok videos below that Joe Ortega recorded of the ordeal below.


CRAZY Popeyes in Atlanta would not let me purchase food for homeless! #atlanta #dontletthisflop #fyp #videoviral @popeyes @theshaderoom #FindYourEdge #fyp

♬ original sound – thegirlyjo

Jo has started a GoFundMe for Jazz to try to help him get off the streets and buy him a new tent and socks.

Shouts out to Jo Ortega for being a great human.

Your thoughts?

Source: FOX5 Atlanta


  1. But to top it off the Popeye worker was extremely ignorant and did anyone see that flithy drive thru window. OMG makes you wonder if the whole restaurant needs a cleaning.

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