Houston FAIL: Puts a Stop to Homeless Food Program

Sunday, January 16, 2011


A Houston couple spent more than a year providing freshly prepared, hot food to homeless people, many of whom are veterans, were stopped by the city for not having a proper permit.

But, Houston shut down Bobby and Amanda Herring’s “Feed a Friend” effort and city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain the needed permit.

Anyone serving food for public consumption, whether for the homeless or for sale, must have a permit, said Kathy Barton, a moron for the Health and Human Services Department. To get that permit, the food must be prepared in a certified kitchen with a certified food manager.

The regulations are all the more essential in the case of the homeless, Barton said, because “poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care.” No homeless person has become sick from eating the couple’s food over the past year.

Mr. Herring said those rules would preclude them from continuing to feed the 60 to 120 people they assist nightly. The food had been donated from area businesses and prepared in various kitchens by volunteers or by his wife.

Because city ordinances would prevent them from obtaining the needed permit, Mr. Herring said he is hoping to find a new solution, perhaps working through a church with a permit or finding a downtown location that would allow them to continue to help the homeless.

Amanda Herring said she was frustrated at the city’s sudden stance.

“I’m just really sad,” she said. “I can’t believe for a year we were right out in the open and never had anybody tell us to leave, to stop, to tell us it was wrong. I’m blindsided with it.”

The alternative for the Houston homeless — who Kathy Barton is allegedly so worried about protecting, is forcing them to eat garbage out of dumpsters.

This entry was posted in Homeless, Houston, News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Houston FAIL: Puts a Stop to Homeless Food Program

  1. Jolly Roger says:

    Pretty typical “compassionate conservatism.”

    Texas, do us all a favor. LEAVE.

  2. feminazi says:

    The (il)logic of the Houston Health and Human Services Department escapes me. Apparently, they would prefer to have the homeless starve to death and then they can pick up their dead bodies? This couple is awesome and I am humbled by their hard work and selflessness during a recession to help the most needy. Houston should be ashamed of itself.

  3. Harry says:

    Why would the city of Houston do this? The couple feeding the homeless means the city doesn’t have to write the check to do it.

  4. Aunt Peg says:

    No good deed goes unpunished. I agree with feminazi. Houston should be ashamed of itself.

  5. Mets Fan says:

    So let me get this straight? Bobby and Amanda Herring’s “Feed a Friend” program is shut down by the peckerheads in Houston for not having the right permit?

    Did the city of Houston dispatch food tracks to the downtown homeless in their absence? My guess is, the answer is a resounding “NO” because these cretins would prefer to see the homeless wither and die. They’re just so unattractive to tourists and sports fans visiting downtown anyway.

    Fuck you, Houston.

  6. Robbie says:

    Unfuckingbelievable. I suppose they’d rather have the homeless go through the proper channels — em, I meant Christian churches– if they’re available or to let them fend for themselves.

    Stupid compassionate Republicans.

  7. Peace Nick says:

    I have never been to Houston but I know it’s the fourth largest American city so I assume they have food trucks downtown to feed hungry office workers during the week.

    My question is, does Houston Health and Human Services require these trucks to have specialized permits to serve office worker? Or, is their focus only on the good folks who feed the homeless? Something is terribly amiss when a city takes the food from the mouth of a homeless person. For me, this is unconscionable

  8. Brigadoon says:

    Why am I surprised?

  9. Jimmy says:

    Houston has plenty of Democrats on their city council and a lesbian, Democratic Mayor. WTF? Rules are rules, I suppose. Where there is a will, there is a way for Feed a Friend to continue to operate within city regulations, as other food pantries and soup kitchens seem to be able to do.

  10. Vivzzz says:

    How many homeless Houstonians will succumb to starvation while all the Democrats on their city council and the Democratic lesbian mayor change this stupid rule preventing kind and generous people from helping the most needy? Houston isn’t a small, poor city. Why is there such need?

  11. fran says:

    Our local food bank worked out a deal w the city & have a full on *food rescue program*– they hit up places like the hospital, restaurants, pizza places, etc, and have teams of volunteers come put them in serving sized ziplock baggies for distribution. It is a ton of food that would otherwise be thrown away & some of it is really high end gourmet food.

    Let’s hope Houston wakes the hell up. The need is great and I just checked….
    With a population of 25,315,461
    Texas has 970,456 unemployed
    4,062,761 Food Stamp Recipients

    BY COMPARISON:
    Nevada has 335,102 on food stamps
    California 3,621,967
    Michigan 1,948,729

  12. Jordan says:

    Actually, Houston is a very liberal city actually. The mayor and most of the city council is liberal … sooooo… yeah…

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