By Teagan Fair | United States
Local citizens became angry recently after the state stopped workers from Free Hot Soup Kansas City from handing out food to the homeless in four locations. Why did this occur? Officials from the Kansas City Health Department claimed that nobody had inspected the food. They also stated that they had told the group that they needed a permit to give out this charity. “They were notified back in a meeting in September that they needed to get a permit, and they just outright said they refused to do that,” claimed Rex Archer, KCMO’s Director Of Health, according to KSHB, a local Kansas City outlet.
On the other hand, Nellie McCool, who has been involved in charity for years, opposes the Health Department’s actions. She claimed the following: “Officers and health inspectors demanded we destroy our food and we were violating health code violations by sharing meals with our friends”. She also denied the claim that anyone told her group that they needed a permit to feed the homeless. “We never had any kind of government official ever come and speak with anybody at any of the public parks”, she insisted.
They used bleach to destroy the food that Free Hot Soup Kansas City gave to the homeless, Archer solidified. He moreover claimed that that is standard procedure in this situation. “This operation claims to care about folks, but if you care about folks, you want to prepare food safely”, he also said.
Officials later went as far as to claim that they stopped the charity because supposedly, their events are “open to the general public”, using this as a negative. They also claimed the food is not at the right temperature for “food safety” in transit to the locations.
The Fight for Free Hot Soup Kansas City
Nellie McCool says that Free Hot Soup Kansas City should be immune to the regulations. First of all, she claims that they are not an official organization and simply shared food with their friends. “As far as I know, picnics are not regulated by the same laws as organizations and vendors, so by using our public parks to have a picnic with our friends, I don’t believe we were breaking any rules,” she said.
Arthur, however, took a different approach. He argued: “If it’s a family picnic, it’s for the family, and it’s at one location. So it was pretty clear that this was an operation that was operating illegally”.
Essentially, officials at the Kansas City Health Department believe the food could possibly be ‘unsafe’ and ‘open to the general public.’ Despite this, the homeless people were choosing to participate in the picnic, and without it, may have been in even greater danger. Though not a legal system, it nonetheless provided food for those who may not have had any.
Many locals involved believed that this was a case of the government’s inadequacy. Thus, they stepped forward in the private sector, performing generous acts in a more direct, streamlined way. The effects were the same. However, Free Hot Soup Kansas City broke the law of feeding the homeless without a permit.
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