Over in Houston, TX, Mr. & Mrs. Herring have been feeding the homeless for over a year, but two weeks ago they had to stop, because they didn’t have the proper permits. It seems that in order to hand out food to the public, either for free or for sale, there are regulations that require various permits concerning the preparation and distribution of food. From the article:
Anyone serving food for public consumption, whether for the homeless or for sale, must have a permit, said Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department. To get that permit, the food must be prepared in a certified kitchen with a certified food manager.
The regulations are all the more essential in the case of the homeless, Barton said, because “poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care.”
There was discussion of creating a less-restrictive permit for just this kind of charity work, but the conversations ended without any changes being made. For now, the 60-120 homeless people who were served each day will have to find somewhere else to eat…