by Morinville News Staff
As part of Red Tape Reduction Awareness Week, the Government of Alberta announced Thursday that food banks would be able to legally prepare, cook and serve food on site, provided they have the necessary facilities and equipment.
The regulation previously prevented food banks from processing and serving food, meaning they could not easily run a soup kitchen.
“This is a common-sense change that I’m proud to make,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro. “Food safety regulations should not prevent food banks from helping those in need. We will continue looking for ways to cut unnecessary rules and regulations while always protecting the health and safety of Albertans.”
Food Banks Alberta CEO Stephanie Walsh-Rigby approves of the forthcoming change. “This change will give food banks the ability to add more services to help support people facing food insecurity,” Walsh-Rigby said.
The regulation change comes into effect Feb. 1 and also impacts bed-and-breakfast operations, who will not be able to serve any meal.
Under the Alberta Food Regulation, bed-and-breakfast operators were only allowed to serve breakfast. Other small lodging businesses were required to invest in a commercial kitchen if they wanted to serve lunch or supper.