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The Dripby Brew Editors7:20 pmAug 4, 20210

City Schools responds to Brew story: Trueheart’s meal program to resume with restrictions

The seven-year-old food distribution center may resume its work immediately, as long as no food is stored onsite, the district now says

Above: Kim Trueheart at the Liberty Rec & Tech Center last year. (J.M. Giordano)

Baltimore City Schools has clarified its stance on Kim Trueheart’s free meal distribution program at the Liberty Rec & Tech Center.

Trueheart shut down the program last Friday after City Schools, citing unsanitary conditions, told her to cease food distribution and obtain a permit from the Health Department.

“Once the food has been removed and the site is in compliance with all Health Department requirements, Ms. Trueheart may resume food distribution only [sic] immediately,” said the statement published today on the City Schools website.

This evening, Trueheart received word that she will be able to resume distribution immediately – without getting a permit – as long as she doesn’t store food onsite.

“It means at the end of the day, any food we haven’t given out, we will have to throw away,” Trueheart said, explaining that she received an email this evening from chief operating officer Lynette Washington explaining their new position.

Trueheart said she would still work to get a permit from the Health Department to allow for food storage (“I want to do this right”) but was happy to be up and running in the meantime.

She said her volunteers will be back onsite tomorrow morning.

Confusing Phrase?

The statement posted earlier in the day expanded on the very brief response a spokeswoman emailed to The Brew’s questions.

According to the “Setting the Record Straight” page, school officials said they “offered assistance to help her address the conditions of the site,” but Trueheart “did not take advantage of the offer.”

Trueheart told The Brew she was concerned and confused about the district’s use of the phrase “currently in-person use of City Schools facilities are restricted” in its July 19 letter to her.

The Brew highlighted that phrase in its query to City Schools as well.

According to the statement today:

“The letter refers to the recreation center’s access to the Liberty Elementary school gym where in-person learning is taking place. All school buildings, not the recreation center, have restricted in-person community activities based on the district’s Summer Field and Building Guidance.”

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