Earlier this month, Missouri Health Department workers allegedly junked and threw bleach on food at several picnics across Kansas City because the organizers didn’t have the required permits.
Per The Kansas City Star, city officials confiscated chili, foil-wrapped sandwiches, vats of soup and other food prepared by Free Hot Soup Kansas City and soaked it in bleach to ensure it wasn’t consumed. A city inspector told the newspaper last week that the measure was taken out of concern for public safety.
“There is no question that feeding the homeless is critical. There are 43 organizations (not counting Free Hot Soup Kansas City) that have permits and do it in a safe way,” Kansas City Director of Health Rex Archer told The Star, adding that the homeless are vulnerable to contracting and spreading foodborne illnesses.
Archer also told KSHB that they notified the group in September that they had to have a permit to serve food. Organizer Nellie Ann McCool denied this and said they never had contact with the Health Department before the November 5 ordeal.
Moreover, Free Hot Soup Kansas City claimed city officials have a vendetta against them and are displeased with the homeless people they’re bringing to feed at public parks.
“They don’t like the quality of people we are attracting. They don’t like looking at them,” McCool told KCTV.
Volunteers claimed some of the homeless people attempted to eat the bleach-soaked sandwiches as they believed the solution would “clean out their system.” They told the news station that it’s unrealistic for city inspectors to expect they all obtain food handling permits and gain access to a commercial kitchen.
KSHB reported that Free Hot Soup Kansas City said they plan to continue feeding people they call their friends.
[Feature Photo: KSHB Screenshot]