Feeding the homeless: Bake sales illegal across the country

Feeding the homeless: Bake sales illegal across the country

School-Bake-Sale-Ban-Image-via-latimesAcross the country during the past several years, news reports have been popping up about well-intended rules that prohibit citizens from feeding each-other.

Whether it is a lemonade stand, a local charity or church holding a bake sale or feeding the homeless, overly-eager bureaucrats from across the nation are squashing people’s charitable giving and fund-raising efforts under the pretense of concern over childhood obesity or a wholly unfounded fear of food poisoning. 

On Friday, Eleanor Goldberg of the Huffington Post wrote that “a community-based organization of Christian volunteers” has been ordered to stop serving hot home-cooked meals to the homeless unless they get a permit.

A representative from the city Health Department said,

“It’s open to the public, so anything open to the public falls under the food code…homeless people have a right to not suffer from food poisoning…”

Will it eventually be illegal to have friends over for dinner? Does this well-meaning intrusion point to a larger problem of government meddling that has chilling repercussions?

When does it stop?

On Wednesday, the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles reported,

“Los Angeles, with the second highest homeless population after New York, would join dozens of other cities that have already enacted or considered regulating public feeding of the homeless, including Philadelphia, Raleigh, N.C., and Orlando, Fla.”

Last week, The Digital Journal reported that “Health officials in St. Louis have ordered a street church to stop serving hot meals to the city’s homeless residents…”

Kevin Mathews of Care2Care gives more examples.

How many homeless people have suffered from food poisoning after receiving food from private citizens? Is this an epidemic? Are the chances of food poisoning really any greater if a private citizen or group serves people food versus some government agency?

It begs the question, don’t these elected representatives have better things to do with their time?

For the homeless, the concern is potential food poisoning. But homemade goods, don’t you know, can also be very unhealthy, and bake sales are also a target.

Last year, it was reported that in Massachusetts,

“All bake sales will be banned beginning Aug. 1, the Boston Herald reported. The ban would apply 30 minutes before the start of classes and thirty minutes after the school day ends. But health officials are trying to banish sweets from school banquets, after-hours events and even football games.”

State Sen. Susan Fargo, a Democrat, declared that childhood obesity has reached “crisis proportions,” and condescendingly added,

“If we didn’t have so many kids that were obese, we could have let things go.”

Fortunately, the plan was squashed, as reported at USA Today. But Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach “said the ban will stay in effect, however, for goodies sold at school cafeterias during the school day.”

Who do these people think they are and how is it possible that taxpayers are not outraged?

In 2009, the New York Times reported,

“In an effort to limit how much sugar and fat students put in their bellies at school, the Education Department has effectively banned most bake sales, the lucrative if not quite healthy fundraising tool for generations of teams and clubs.”

Mike Urban of the Reading Eagle reported in 2010 that in Pennsylvania, a state law has been on the books “for years” that requires “food sold at charitable fundraisers to be prepared in kitchens inspected and licensed by the state Agriculture Department.”

Rev. Jerry Kulp, pastor of Friedens Church, said he “has never heard concerns from customers regarding food safety.”

He said,

“Churches have been doing this for at least 100 years.”

If one Googles “‘bake sale’ ‘health department,’ a slew of requirements from across the country and detailed discussions about “hazardous foods” and “permit requirements” are displayed.

Enough is enough.

Watch this video of a local news report that describes how a lemonade stand was shut down by police.

Follow Renee Nal on Twitter @ReneeNal and Facebook

Check out her news and political commentary on Tavern KeepersGather and the Examiner for news you won’t find in the mainstream media. Renee is also a guest blogger for the Shire Blog.

Renee Nal

Renee Nal

Renee Nal is a co-founder of TavernKeepers.com, a news and political commentary site founded by former Glenn Beck interns. She is also the National Conservative Examiner. Renee is an associate producer for Trevor Loudon's political documentary, 'The Enemies Within.'


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