Code Compliance

Feeding the Homeless​

​The City of Dallas would like to thank those who take part in the charitable act of providing food for the homeless. Please review American Legal Sec. 17-1.6 Defenses For Certain Types of Activities to ensure the safety of the providers, the food and the recipients of the food.

Also, please read the recommendation from CDC on how to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A.  Remember to have all volunteers handling food wash their hands with warm water, lather with soap for 20 seconds, rinse hands with warm water and dry hands with a clean towel before putting on gloves.  For information about cities that have experienced Hepatitis A in homeless populations click here.  

Provisions for Feeding the Homeless 

  1. Please Notify the City via 311 at least 24 hours before the service or distribution of food to the homeless will commence, if it is anticipated that more than 75 people will be served, or 48 hours after the service or distribution of food to the homeless has concluded, if it is anticipated that 75 or fewer people will be served at a single location.  You may also notify the City at  In your email make sure you include name of individual or organization that will be serving, date when the food will be served, start and stop time, street address of feeding, number of food preparers on site, and the approximate number to be served.
  2. No potentially hazardous food may be served to the homeless, unless the food has been stored at a temperature of 41°F. (5°C) or below; or 135°F. (57°C) or above.
  3. Standards for Food Preparation and Transport
    • Food must be transported and served within four hours of preparation.
    • Food must be transported in a clean conveyance.
  4. Hand Washing (use one of the methods below for sanitizing hands)
    • Use a hand sanitizer containing at least 70 percent alcohol or another substance capable of killing 99.9 percent of the bacteria on hands within 30 seconds of application.
    • Use disposable gloves.
    • Use hand washing equipment that includes at a minimum a sink or a five-gallon container with a spigot that provides free-flowing water and a catch bucket to collect wastewater from hand washing, soap and individual paper towels.
  5. Wastewater
    • All wastewater generated from any hand washing equipment must be disposed of shall not be disposed on the ground or into the stormwater drainage system.
  6. Trash
    • Person(s) serving must bring a sufficient number of trash bags to dispose of the solid waste generated by the food provided by the servers and used best efforts to remove or cause the removal of all trash or debris from the feeding site that was generated by the service or distribution of food to the homeless, and deposited the trash or debris in a public trash receptacle or in a private trash receptacle if permission from the receptacle owner was obtained.