How hard can it get to feed the poor? Pretty hard.
Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day. They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said.
That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their “Feed a Friend” effort for lack of a permit. And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one.
“We don’t really know what they want, we just think that they don’t want us down there feeding people,” said Bobby Herring, a Christian rapper who goes by the stage name Tre9.
And Kathy Barton, Houston’s spokeswoman for the Houston HHS department said this:
The regulations are all the more essential in the case of the homeless… because “poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care.”
Pretty outrageous that private citizens are forced to stop doing charitable work because the government assumes the worst if you don’t have the magic permit.
The silver lining here is that the Houston city council is talking about adjusting the statute so that people like the Herrings are exempt.