New regulations in Birmingham, AL set higher standards for food trucks operating in that community – namely that they must obtain permits from the local health department. The regulations, on the books since January 1 of this year, have also had the unintended consequence of preventing at least one church from distributing food to homeless city residents.
An ABC affiliate recently filed a report, stating that Birmingham church Lords House of Prayer has been barred by the police from delivering food to the homeless residents of the city's Linn Park. Minister Rick Wood said the police told him he could no longer distribute food unless he had both a food truck and the proper permit.
According to the report, the new food truck requirements were put in place to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants from having their customers poached by food trucks, which have the advantages of lower overhead and portability. While the stoppage of Minister Wood's charitable food delivery seems to be an unforeseen byproduct, there's no word yet as to the city providing special dispensation for non-profit or religious organizations. Follow on below for the full video report from ABC 33/40.