Government has long been characterized as inept. It’s easy to forget that sometimes it can be downright cruel.
The latest example comes from Missouri, where the Kansas City Health Department is under fire after employees bleached food intended for the homeless because the people supplying it did not have the proper permit.
On Sunday, officials from the health department, accompanied by armed police officers, stopped volunteers with Free Hot Soup Kansas City from feeding the homeless at four locations, claiming the food had not been inspected.
“Officers and health inspectors demanded we destroy our food and we were violating health code violations by sharing meals with our friends,” said Nellie McCool, who has participated in efforts to feed the homeless for years.
The health department has defended its crackdown, claiming officials had previously informed the volunteer group that they needed to obtain a permit.
“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,” said Dr. Rex Archer, Director Of Health for KCMO, according to KSHB, a local Kansas City outlet.
McCool denies this. “We never had any kind of government official ever come and speak with anybody at any of the public parks,” she said.
Regardless, according to the department’s write-up of the Sunday incident, officials destroyed the food, citing the lack of a permit, and insisted the action was taken to protect public safety.
“This operation claims to care about folks, but if you care about folks, you want to prepare food safely,” Archer said, confirming that using bleach to destroy contraband food is standard policy.
In a tweet elaborating on the agency’s position, officials claimed they blocked the volunteers because their gatherings are “open to the general public,” and the food is not stored at the “required temperature for food safety” when it is transported to serving locations throughout the city.
McCool claims that Free Hot Soup Kansas City should be exempt from the regulations, arguing that they are not an official organization and were simply sharing food with friends in a picnic-like manner.
“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 told local outlet KCUR. Archer disputed her position. “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,” he said.
McCool believes government officials disapprove of their efforts and have sought “to bully [them] into becoming an organization.”
Hurting Those Who Need Help Most
It seems counter to the basic tenets of liberty for a government entity to assert it can restrict others from engaging in acts of charity—or receiving it—because there may be a risk involved. Freedom involves risk, and when people are living on the streets, it seems reasonable to assume they might like the option to take their chances on food donated to them.
Though this incident has sparked heated debate in Kansas City, it is hardly unique. Local governments nationwide have been restricting well-meaning citizens from feeding the homeless for years.
In 2014, a 90-year-old veteran in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was cited and arrested multiple times for feeding the homeless without a permit in an ongoing ordeal that ultimately led a circuit court to temporarily halt the policy. Earlier this year in San Diego, California, a group of activists was arrested for the same offense. Following Hurricane Michael, a viral video circulated of health department officials in Panama City, Florida, apparently shutting down food donations because those distributing it, once again, did not obtain the proper permitting from the health department. (The Florida Department of Health in Bay County did not return FEE’s email seeking to confirm the video’s authenticity.)
In a positive development, the Supreme Court ruled in August that feeding the homeless is protected under the First Amendment after Fort Lauderdale activists sued over the city’s permit requirement.
At a broader level, however, similar nanny state measures have produced everything from regulations restrictingwhat types of beverages can be listed on children’s restaurant menus to banning people from feeding pigeons. Violations of such rules come with hefty fines and even jail time.
Restrictions against feeding the homeless, and in multiplecases outright destroying what is likely perfectly safe food, seem particularly misguided and harmful, as do measures preventing Good Samaritans from providing them with shelter.
As is so often the case with intrusive government policy, those most in need end up the victims. “[G]rown men and women [were] crying as they watched good, hot food made with so much love be destroyed right in front of them,” one of Free Hot Soup’s administrators said of the incident.
Carey Wedler is a video blogger and Senior Editor for Anti-Media.
13 thoughts on “Giving Food to the Homeless Shouldn’t Be a Crime”
WAITING FOR THIS TO HAPPEN HERE.http://churchofchristpreaching.com/
THEY FEED A LOT OF FOLKS
This really chaps my ass, cant believe this crap. They dont even want us to be human for christ sake. Goddamn monsters.
I would love to sponsor a barbecue for these folks, have barbecue beef and chicken all over the place, along with some .223 rifles just for shits and giggles.
‘They dont even want us to be human for christ sake. Goddamn monsters.’……..yup Mark that is exactly what these soulless communists demand…eff them …..help out as many as you can when you can …..
This is all PC crap. The liberal city governments found themselves in a quandary during the early Obama administration. They had beaten Bush up about being hostile to the poor homeless, that they blamed on the bad Republicans. Then, the liberal big cities found they were overrun with homeless, but couldn’t do anything punitive against them to force them from their cities due to several liberal judges’ rulings and the optics. Instead, they had to look empathetic and protective. This was the solution: protect the homeless from bad food. That meant holding any ‘soup kitchen’ to restaurant or commercial kitchen requirements and probably to some government meal requirements as well. This made it prohibitively expensive for most churches and charitable organizations to feed the homeless within their cities. Effectively, it was to starve the homeless out of their respective urban areas. Problem solved, right?
Honeslty I don’t know how anyone trying to prevent good food being given to folks who would starve otherwise–veterans, the disabled, kids, old folks, folks who are poor because the criminal psycho elites robbed them or because banksters “foreclosed” on them or psychos like Bezos refuse to pay them a living wage, etc.–can look at themselves in the mirror or sleep soundly at night. ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE CHRISTIAN!
DEAR DL. WOULDN’T AN ACT SUCH AS THAT REMOVE “CHRISTIAN” FROM ONES NAME IF NOT FOLLOWED BY SERIOUS REPENTANCE? ALL IS NOT LOST;2Ti_4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
ALTHOUGH I FAIL MISERABLY, STILL MANY LISTEN. IT AIN’T OVER YET……….WE ARE STILL DIVIDING RIGHT FROM WRONG HERE…….IT DOES BLEED OVER FROM CHRISTIANITY TO LAW, I HAVE SHOWN BEFORE THAT TRULY, THEY ARE INSEPARABLE. EITHER EACH MAN MATTERS TO GOD AND HIS CHURCH, OR NO MAN MATTERS AT ALL….. IN WHICH CASE WE SHOULD SET FIRE TO THE WHOLE WORLD WHILE SCREAMING,”F@#K IT!!!!!!!!!!!
SAVING THE LAW AND THE WORD SHOULD BE THE PRIORITY OF ANY CHRISTIAN…. I FEAR WE ARE IN A STRICT MINORITY………………KOYOTE
Giving food to the homeless should not be a crime.
The crime here is giving shitty left over food to homeless people.
Then getting pissed off when they take a dump in front of your house.
What was the Lawful Order???? Again?? This is the whole issue. The article is base upon Code, Regulation or Statute not Law.
Did I get this Right, the activist’s food was taken and destroyed. This is a warrantless taking.
These people have to learn how to sue and whom. City and Individuals.
While this activity is protected Under the First also the Fourth and all other Article(s) of Law.
So many American Nationals hurting and hungry, not to mention cold in their tents and alleyways. As Communism progresses it grows more ugly, more ruthless. It may even progress to prohibiting us from cooking for dinner guests; and further on down the line, prohibiting us from cooking for ourselves. That may sound extreme but it could happen. They must make sure our food supply is safe, so they’ll start supplying it. Yeah, their food, probably prepared by Satan himself. Oh the thought is horrible, and it will all likely erupt before we get to that point. But until then, like those who have commented here have prompted, let us feed the hungry.
Thanks, Angel. Real people going through it.
And yeah, that’s where it lives, RESPONSIBILITY, in the mirror. I see it every day.
November 10, 2018
Howdy Trenchers; This is a follow up of My last comment, especially an answer for Mark. Notice in the video not one cop on site.
Everyone or say most of us are 2 or 3 checks away from being homeless. Every day I count My blessings. At times I go out of My way to help people in need. I never pass a stranded vehicle (break down) especially in the winter. The county jail is nearby where I live. Frequently I offer rides, these people are released in the same clothes they are arrested in. usually take them to a nearby thrift shop. People released may be wearing a tee shirt and sneakers in the late fall or winter. Beside that have no idea where they are, nor to find shelter or their last home and most cases have lost everything and no money.
Bless you, Harry. All efforts matter.