Friday, January 14, 2011

You know what I mean?

I am often asked by students why we make it difficult for them to provide food at bake sales and fundraisers. I find myself sounding like a broken record when I am quoting Houston city regulations in regards to the preparation and sale of food. I recently read this article in the Chron titled City puts a stop to homeless outreach - Couple must have proper permit to continue feeding dozens each day. 

My intention is not necessarily to call out the regulation, but pose an example to students why I am often denying requests for their events. Philosophically I am aligned with students and the need to feed the homeless, but being a food professional, I would also have to agree with the city pertaining its regulations for safety reasons. However, I wonder if it is more risky for the homeless to eat off the street and out of refuse rather than to receive handouts from responsible adults who have a desire to help the needy.

"We absolutely need more people like them who care about this vulnerable population," Boyd said. "Even though their intentions are good, they ran into ordinances that are designed to protect the public. There are good reasons why they're in place. (Connie Boyd, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County.)"