Organization has proper permits and facility but still can't feed homeless due to insurance issues

First permit problems, now insurance issues

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - For three years the Bakersfield Burrito Project was making and distributing burritos to the homeless without the right permit from the city parks deparment or the county health department.

Unable to afford the right permits, in November the Burrito Project resorted to handing out sack lunches of prepackaged food.

"We drive around, walk around, get out of the car hand out food," said Burrito Project Board Member Jason Rickett.

Then Reverend Karen Stoffers-Pugh from the Wesley United Methodist Church called and offered to let the group use the church's kitchen.

"It was a tremendous weight off of our shoulders we have a centralized location," saod Rickett.

Tthe Bakersfield Burrito Project now has a state of the art kitchen that has been approved by the health department but they still cannot use it.

The church's liability company says its an insurance issue.

"They have told us 'you can't open your facility to that type of outreach without that organization having the proper liability insurance'," saod Stoffers-Pugh.

"If it's not one thing its another. All we're trying to do is feed people The problem becomes the red tape that has surrounded all of that," said Rickett.

Rickett said they need a million dollars worth of liability insurance, which he's having a hard time finding.

"Everybody I have talked to said they dont know how to handle us because we're a non-profit and they cannot categorize us properly," said Rickett.

So now he and the church are asking for help trying to find coverage...that's also affordable.

"We could solve the problems of hunger but we have to come together," said Stoffers-Pugh.

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