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Salt Lake County Health Department
General Information  
Salt Lake County, UT
(385) 468-4100  

Charitable Food Outreach

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If you are interested in providing charitable food outreach to the homeless or other people in need, please consider that there are already excellent organizations in Salt Lake City that provide food, clothing, and other services to people in need.

Together, these organizations already serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner nearly every day of the year, and they rely almost solely on donations and volunteers like you in order to do so.

Providing assistance through these existing programs is the best way to give back in our community—and these organizations have a structure in place to utilize your time, goods, and money in the most efficient way possible.

If you are still interested in organizing your own independent outreach event, please note the mandatory guidelines below:

  • Serving food (that is not commercially prepared and packaged) to the homeless requires you to register with the Salt Lake County Health Department so that we can provide you with food safety information and keep record of your food outreach event in case of a foodborne illness outbreak. Depending on the size and duration of your outreach event, you may also need to obtain a Mass Gathering Permit. To register your food outreach event, contact the Food Protection Bureau at 385-468-3845.
  • Please review our Food Safety Guide for volunteer groups providing meals to homeless and disadvantaged populations.
  • Food service near the organizations listed above (particularly in the vicinity of 450 West 200 South) is unnecessary, as these organizations already provide meals to those in need.
  • Your outreach event will require a Free Expression Permit and Waste Management Plan from Salt Lake City. A Free Expression Permit ensures that you have reserved a specific location to host your activity and that you are in compliance with the law. A Waste Management Plan helps ensure that you have a method for properly disposing of food waste and trash so it does not become litter. Contact Salt Lake City Event Permitting at 801-535-6110 for more information.
  • Pioneer Park is a popular venue for this type of outreach. Before you plan an event, ensure the date you are requesting does not conflict with an existing event at the park by contacting Salt Lake City Parks at 801-972-7800. If you begin the Free Expression permitting process first, the Salt Lake City Event Permitting staff will help you coordinate with a specific Parks supervisor.