It Is Finished

30 Nov

On November 8th, I wrote that a long-time food pantry in Harford County was being hassled by government inspectors.  We have now been shut down – just in time for the holidays.

The week after that inspector had come by, we were told to go ahead. If you go into a store to purchase bagels, they are usually in a big bin, with a pair of tongs. They do not have a list of ingredients. If you stop at a deli for a sandwich, you have no idea what’s in the bread. Or the lunchmeat or mayo, for that matter.  Panera HQ couldn’t even give us the information we wanted! How’s that strike you?

Yesterday morning, a different inspector came by and told us that under no circumstances were we to continue giving food to the needy. They needed to purchase it just as everybody else does. Well, he didn’t say that, but this was federal, and you know how they feel about poor people.  Can we just do one more session, so folks will have food for Christmas? No, absolutely not.

And we have folded our tents, and will silently slip away. Silently, except for a whole lot of muttering and cursing under our breath.

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5 Responses to “It Is Finished”

  1. AJ November 30, 2017 at 9:02 pm #

    That is so sad!

  2. tiggerlyss November 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm #

    This needs to be put into the paper! At least fire a prating shot over the mast. What happens to the food baskets given out by other charities such as the Salvation Army?
    How is it that other charities are allowed to give out food? They do it here and in Pittsburgh.

    • thisendoftheswamp November 30, 2017 at 11:50 pm #

      Dunno. One problem is that different inspectors will tell you different things. In this case we had three people giving three sets of instructions. And each successive inspector insisting the ones before him didn’t know what they were doing. The strain just gets to you – especially when they start threatening legal action.

  3. gz December 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

    we call them food banks in Britain..supplied by public donations and the Trussell Trust, run by charities.and you have to be referred by some authority…social services or benefits office (and they are under pressure to suspend benefits from those they can..even unjustifiably). All the food has to be canned or packet…nothing fresh

    • thisendoftheswamp December 7, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

      If all the rules matched, it wouldn’t be so annoying. The pantry in question is in Harford county; there’s one in the next county over that is not having any problems at all, and we’ve suggested to our clients that they go there if they have transportation. I’ve spoken to a woman who lives in another state, and while they don’t have to label anything, they can’t give out pre-sliced bread, which we can do.
      It’s really no wonder people have no respect for the law. Get it together, folks!

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