a reply to: DJMSN
Actually, a church isn't allowed to feed the hungry UNLESS you take federal money.
If you try to buy your own food and cook it yourself, your church must either have, or install a commercial grade kitchen, complete with 3-chambered
sinks and a separate sink for "employees" (volunteers) to wash their hands in. You need to get inspected 3 times in your first 6 months, and,
depending on your jurisdiction, you may have to pay the health department to inspect you.
My church could not afford to install an over-head sprinkler system in our 100-year-old kitchen, for fire control. So we couldn't get certified as a
commercial kitchen. The church was told they could not serve non-members more than once a year, without having a commercial kitchen (what about
visitors to the church????)
Which is why we don't serve meals to the homeless.
We send them home with canned goods instead.
But it is that way at every turn when it comes to churches caring for the needy. Local bureaucrats are always threatened when the church does for
free what the welfare workers are PAID to do; so they quickly shut down any program that looks like it might succeed.
My church started an after-school program, that had no religious content; it merely let the kids use our gymn, and offered free tutors so kids could
finish their homework. Parents had to sign up for the program, so the church could take responsibility for the children until the parents picked them
The program was hugely popular, and the church had all adults supervised and background checked. The kids enjoyed getting their homework done before
they went home for the day.
Once we got more than 50 kids enrolled, the school got itself a big shiny grant to set up its own after-school program, with paid staff. Then they
said that churches could no longer give member kids a ride to their church, even when the parents had a signed statement listing the days when the
kids were going to the church. Then all school clubs that met later in the evening, were moved to meeting directly after school....
So now, the only school program is the one with paid government employees. It is not well attended, because there is a crime and drug problem there.