Next stop for food sharing ordinance is City Council

Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
June 4, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Ordinance number 140412, also known as the food sharing ordinance, is not as well received as some city officials would have hoped.

The ordinance, sponsored by First District At-Large representative Scott Wagner, is an amendment to chapter 30, Code of Ordinances. According to the ordinance fact sheet, “by repealing section 30-73, permits, and enacting in lieu thereof a new section 30-73 to add food sharing permits to the Kansas City, Missouri Food Code for the purpose of protecting all recipients of food items; amending Section 30-701(b) by adding a new Section 30-701(b)(45) to require compliance with all laws; directing the City Manager to coordinate training and educational workshops with the Homeless Services Coalition of Greater Kansas City and to facilitate connections between Food Sharing permittees and neighborhood association.”

The ordinance was first approved at the May 28, 2014, Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee and would regulate food sharing groups by ensuring they have an inspected kitchen. The goal of the measure, the ordinance continues, is to safeguard public health and provide food that is safe to consume. The ordinance creates a new permit called “food sharing permits” and requires those sharing because of food insecurity — a lack of consistent resources to acquire food — to label their food and provide trash cans at distribution sites. There is no cost to acquiring a food sharing permit.

The ordinance also requires city manager Troy Schulte to coordinate training and educational workshops with the Homeless Services Coalition of Greater Kansas City about the ordinance. The fact sheet states the ordinance could also help reduce litter in the Kansas City area.

On Wednesday, activists and those closely affected by the ordinance packed the Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee meeting with the hopes of voicing their opinion on the ordinance. Before the meeting, the group was protesting the ordinance outside of City Hall.

However, council members told the group their voices could not be heard because general discussion is for items that have not already been voted on by the committee. Councilman Jermaine Reed suggested the group attend Thursday’s City Council meeting, even though, again public testimony cannot be heard.

“Thank you to those who came in but unfortunately [we] can’t hear your voices at the moment,” Reed said, adding the ordinance could be referred back to the committee by the city council for further review.

 

***Update****

Ordinance # 140412, also known as the Food Sharing Ordinance has been table for one week according to City Hall sources. The exact wording of the ordinance came under fire recently and was described as “silly” by some critics. The ordinance was crafted in response to neighborhood complaints of trash created by panhandlers at major intersections. The ordinance is scheduled for a vote at next week’s Full Council meeting. Editor Joe Jarosz will have a complete update later this afternoon.

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