Nine Californians face misdemeanor charges after attempts on Sunday to feed homeless people, according to KNSD, an NBC affiliate in San Diego.

A group of volunteers went to Wells Park in El Cajon, California, with a mission to help homeless people. They brought food, clothes and other items to hand out. Police stepped in to block the efforts and handed out citations, which is equivalent to a misdemeanor arrest.

“I was passing out food and this guy was like can you step aside please,” Ever Parmley, 14, told KNSD.

The San Diego suburb’s city council passed an ordinance last year that prohibited “food sharing.” The ordinance was passed in response to a Hepatitis A outbreak in California. The law was meant to help curb the disease, prevalent among homeless populations and intravenous drug users. California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in October last year in an effort to stop the disease from spreading.

The disease was introduced into California’s homeless population, according to CNN, and is highly contagious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease is most commonly spread through coming into contact with the feces of a person who has been infected or eating or drinking food or water that has been contaminated.

The city also said that another reason for the law was to cut down on trash in the park.

Signs displayed around the park spell out the law.

“What we're saying is feeding them at city parks is a bad idea given the situation that we're in with the hepatitis A outbreak and the fact that it makes the place completely messy afterward,” El Cajon City Council Member Ben Kalasho told KNSD in November. “You can go out there, pick them up, take them back to your house and feed them and board them and room them and have them take a shower if you're really wanting to help.”