Attached, please find a letter from Mayor Annise D. Parker in response to your email dated January 15, 2011.
January 20, 2011
Daniel Taverne SR 15163
Via E-Mail: email@example.com
Dear Mr. Taverne:
The City of Houston appreciates the Herrings and their desire to feed the
homeless. The City is responsible for the safety of food distributed to the public
and takes that responsibility seriously. It is possible to both feed the homeless and
ensure that the food provided is not contaminated.
After reviewing the existing ordinance, we hope to amend it by February so as to
make it easier for individuals to provide food to the homeless. Additionally, the
Herrings are continuing in their efforts to feed the homeless, working in
cooperation with the Coalition for the Homeless and certified kitchens.
Annise D. Parker
Here's my continuing opinion: First of all, it is not the City's responsibility to ensure the safe conxumption of "safe" foods in private homes, is it? I know it's not. There are no food police shutting down family kitchens because they haven't been properly inspected... at least not yet.
Now, if the people eating are not paying for the food they are consuming, the City has no business in the private affairs of the couple providing the charitable service.
The city can be helping in an advisory capacity, and should be offering no strings attatched assistance for such endeavors as this.
The City and the Mayor should be ashamed of the policy, but proud of people like the ones who help out of the goodness of their hearts.
People are capable of policing themselves. This food shelter had been running for 15 months without City interference or complaints of food illnesses.
Would the city rather have the homeless eating from dumpsters? There has got to be something wrong with this city to have such a travesty of a policy that it would shut down a food kitchen.