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Homeless Advocates Question Kansas City 'Food Sharing Permit' Plan

A number of organizations that help feed the homeless were heard but not heeded Wednesday as a city council committee revisited an ordinance requiring setting standards for charitable food sharing.

The plan would require all individuals and organizations providing food for the homeless to have a city food sharing permit, that all food preparation areas meet city standards. The organizations would be responsible for trash disposal and other sanitation matters.

The pleas of the two dozen people who spoke against the food sharing permit ordinance were often impassioned.

Among those who opposed the plan were a state representative, a Salvation Army Major, homeless and former homeless Kansas Citians and several ministers who work with the homeless.

A thread of skepticism ran through their comments: that the ordinance is not about food safety, but about getting the homeless out of some neighborhoods. Some feared it would end volunteer preparation of food in people's homes, even interfere with some church and charity events.

The committee took no action on requests that the ordinance be held and modified or rejected. It remains on track for a full council vote Thursday afternoon.

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