On November 5th, the Kansas City health department dumped vats of chili and soup as well as sandwiches in bags and soaked them in bleach to stop homeless people from eating the food — claiming the volunteers preparing it didn’t have permits. “E. coli or salmonella or listeria can grow in the food,” a rep said. “And then you give that to homeless people who are more vulnerable, they will end up in the ER and even die from that exposure.”
But members of Free Hot Soup said homeless people were undeterred and ate the food anyway. The group said that if the health inspectors had truly been concerned about the health of the homeless, they wouldn’t have left the bags of food out.
The organization says the crackdown was actually meant to keep homeless people from gathering in public parks.