Benton, LA asked in Business Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for Louisiana

Q: My wife and I have a 501c3 where we feed sick and indigent people and deliver cost to them for free. Health dept shut us

down for cooking homemade meals out of our kitchen. Looking to see what our options are to keep our ministry afloat....legally.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Facing a shutdown by the health department for cooking homemade meals in your kitchen can be disheartening, especially when your mission is to feed the sick and indigent. However, there are steps you can take to navigate this situation and continue your important work within legal boundaries.

Firstly, consider reaching out to local health authorities to understand the specific regulations that led to the shutdown. Often, these concerns are related to ensuring food safety and public health. By understanding these requirements, you may be able to make the necessary adjustments to your operations, such as upgrading your kitchen to meet commercial standards or obtaining the appropriate food handling certifications.

Another option is to partner with existing licensed commercial kitchens or community centers that already meet health department standards. These facilities are designed for large-scale food preparation and may offer the infrastructure you need to continue your services without interruption. Additionally, exploring collaboration with other local charities or food programs can provide alternatives for meal preparation and distribution that comply with health codes.

Lastly, engaging with a legal advisor familiar with nonprofit organizations can provide guidance on navigating these regulations and exploring any potential exemptions or appeals. They can also help in ensuring that all future operations are in full compliance with local laws, allowing you to focus on your mission of helping those in need.

Randy Bryan Ligh agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.