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November 29, 2006

And a bah humbug to you, Fairfax County

John Miller, Jonah Goldberg, and my former colleague Leslie Carbone post on a story that angered me when I read it in the Washington Post this morning. Just in time for the season of giving, a county that many Pointers live in or near is clamping down on all that lawless donating of home- or church-prepared meals to the homeless. It's okay if you eat Mom's cooking yourself, but unless her kitchen is county-approved (containing "a commercial-grade refrigerator, a three-compartment sink to wash, rinse and sanitize dishes and a separate hand-washing sink, among other requirements"), you don't dare give the extras to a hungry person. It may not meet the proper standards of cleanliness and so forth. So you'll just have to dump the food in the garbage so they can eat it out of there. Nice going, Fairfax.

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Katharine Eastvold

I agree - absolutely ridiculous. I can see that the homeless are a "vulnerable population" when it comes to food poisoning. And yet, if I invite a seriously ill or very elderly person (also vulnerable to food poisoning) to my home for dinner, will the government be waiting to inspect my kitchen? Of course not! And the homeless, unlike the hypothetical dinner guest, depend on the generosity of others for their survival, at least in the short-term. Beggers can't be choosers, so the saying goes. No government ought to force them to be choosy.

Maybe all you Fairfax County people should invite the homeless to your homes or churches, make a bunch of food, put it out next to the dumpster for them to retrieve, and when the "food police" show up, tell them you were just throwing it away and can't help that there were homeless people eating out of your garbage. :-)

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