Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A N.J. soup kitchen may be regulated out of existence.
Just what the founders had in mind.
This the men and women of the Community Soup Kitchen have provided for 26 years, not once missing a day. Now comes a challenge greater than any snowstorm or power outage. Earlier this year, the Morristown Division of Health ruled that henceforth the soup kitchen would be considered a "retail" food establishment under New Jersey law.
From that single word far-reaching consequences have flowed. In a column for a local blog, Ray Friant, a volunteer from the Morristown United Methodist Church, called the rule "crazy." Over Sunday breakfast at a local diner, Mr. Friant, his wife, Emmy Lu, and another church couple who also volunteer at the kitchen, Barbara and Jim Morris, spell out what they mean by crazy.
Most obvious is the higher cost: at least $150,000 more a year. To meet this increase, the kitchen is asking each participating church to up its own contribution. Some congregations don't have the money. For those that do, it will mean less for some other need.
No soup for you.