More Citations Issued to Group Feeding Homeless


Food Not Bombs has been feeding Houston’s homeless population in front of the library on Smith at Mckinney for about 20 years. However, according to the Charitable Feeding Ordinance, the group is now prohibited from using the location. Since March 1, HPD has been issuing a few citations to the volunteers due to their non-compliance with the ordinance. 


“Many of the people here have religious convictions,” said Civil Rights attorney Randall Kallinen said. “And Jesus, of course, extolled his followers to feed the people who are hungry and this is the same in Islam and Judaism as well as other religions, so it is a form of freedom of religion.” The penalties range from $50 – $2000


The rules and regulations for the approved public site are:


Each approved charitable food service location on City of Houston property must have the following:


  1. Adequate parking for the personnel conducting the food service event. The minimum number of parking spaces shall be ten (10) dedicated spaces during charitable food service events.


  1. Adequate trash containment to contain all trash, refuse, and litter on the site of the food service event.


  1. Two (2) portable restrooms with hand washing stations available during food service events and available 24 hours per day, seven (7) days per week.


  1. Adequate personnel to conduct the food service event and restore the site at the conclusion of the food service event.


  1. Adequate trash receptacles, trash containment, and removal measures to contain all trash, refuse, and litter on the site of the food service event and to properly dispose of all trash, refuse, litter and remove unused foods from the site at the conclusion of the food service event.


  1. Adhere to guidelines for food preparation, transport, serving, handling, storage, and packaging in accordance with the FDA model food code/Houston Food Ordinance.


Once again, the City is providing a dedicated location with the appropriate, needed space, and infrastructure/amenities to serve Houstonians with the dignity they deserve.


These updated Rules and Regulations do not apply to charitable food service on private property. Charitable food service on public property must be done at 61 Riesner Street, Houston, Texas 77002


Organizers said the designated location was too far for the homeless and intimidating because it is next to a Houston Police Department building.


Houston Public Library offers a number of programs that assist Houston’s homeless, such as housing location, food, and employment. 


The City of Houston released the following statement:


Charitable Public Feeding Rules and Regulations


“Over the next couple of days, the City will be informing citizens about updated Houston Health Department rules and regulations governing charitable food service events on public property.


Houston has a charitable food service location that complies with the updated rules and regulations governing food service on public property.


The City supports, and is grateful for, the charitable food services provided throughout the City.


To assist efforts, the City is providing an appropriate location with necessary requirements for a safe, clean, and respectful environment.


For more information on Foods Not Bombs, go here