Speaking of Hunger, what about the Homeless?

A few weeks ago I wrote about Project H.E.L.P. and the attorney training scheduled for Friday, October 3rd. Here is an update from the apparently successful training.

Jeff Yungman, Director of Legal Services for the Homeless Project at Crisis Ministries in Charleston, started off the CLE with a general discussion of the issues that homeless clients face. 

Sue Berkowitz, Director of SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center, who talked about Benefits Law, including Temproary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid.  

Rita Roache, a Charleston attorney with South Carolina Legal Services, spoke about Family Law. 

Stacy Thompson, of Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson, & Delgado, spoke about Social Security Benefits and Claims. 

Approximately 40+ attorneys attended the training and there are volunteers booked through spring ’09. The first service event will be held in November.

Stay tuned . . . .


Food+Good Samaritans=Federal Food Donation Act of 2008

       Some of you may be wondering how Food Donation fits into access to justice.     

Well, here goes:

People who are going hungry are often living in poverty. →

Access to Justice wants to people who are living in poverty have more access to legal services. →

Legal services encompasses not only direct representation, but also imparting knowledge of the laws and the rights to the people affected by these laws.→

The Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 is one such law.

And it just so happens that last night one of my friends asked me about food donations and liability. Well, wouldn’t you know, it just so happens that while I was in law school I worked on a project to review good samaritan food donation acts around the country. I remembered that the laws were fairly consistent in encouraging food donation and generally did not subject those who donated apparently wholesome food to civil or criminal liability unless there were instances of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

So I checked into whether there had been any changes.

The Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 was signed into law by the President on June 20, 2008. According to the Act itself:The purpose of this Act is to encourage executive agencies and contractors of executive agencies, to the maximum extent practicable and safe, to donate excess, apparently wholesome food to feed food-insecure people in the United States.

So next time you’re attending an event and you notice leftover food, please encourage the host or caterer to donate the food.

And, if they’re still worried, encourage them to speak to an attorney about liability.