Would new food health standards work against Philadelphia’s homeless?

    WHYY’s Carolyn Beeler has been following a story about new board of health requirements for doling food out to Philadelphia’s homeless. Officials say it’s about safety. Opponents say it’s an attempt to displace the homeless. What do you think?

    WHYY’s Carolyn Beeler has been following a story about Philadelphia’s board of health setting up new standards for food doled out to the homeless. They would require that kitchens be inspected and that volunteers trained in food safety be on hand whenever and wherever food is served.

    What do you think of theproposal? Tell us below.

    City officials say they realized they had no authority to ensure such food safety when the Occupy Philadelphia encampment began offering supplemental homeless services last fall, and that these new measures would be an improvement on the situation.

    Opponents contend that the new regulatory measures are unnecessary and are calculated to force the homeless away from public spaces. Even worse is the chilling effect they fear the red tape and compliance costs will have on volunteer homeless services.

    NewsWorks readers have so far weighed in against the measure. An anonymous reader asked: “Should need a permit if I have a fruit tree in my yard in the event that someone eats the fruit directly from the tree?”

    The board will vote on the measure after a 30-day public comment period. So give us your comments.

    Would the new measure protect Philadelphia’s homeless? Or is it needless regulation?

    Is it merely a cynical measure to beautify the parkway? Or are opponents misreading the city’s intentions?

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