Non-Permitted Food Distribution at City Park

By Corona PD

The Corona Police Department has been working closely with County of Riverside Department of Environmental Health and local clergy members in order to work on a solution to the safety concerns regarding non-permitted food distribution at City Park.

Safety concerns that are being addressed include unsafe play areas for children, unusable public restrooms due to debris and inhabitation, and the possibility of persons becoming sick due to food borne illnesses. The growing number of our homeless citizens who frequent City Park for the non-permitted distribution of food has also negatively affected the surrounding residential and business community. These concerns include sleeping in the doorways of businesses, trespassing onto private property, and the accumulation of human waste in public spaces.

In order to educate the public about the ways non-permitted food distribution affects the surrounding residential and business communities, the Corona Police Department’s HOPE (Homeless, Outreach & Psychological Evaluation) Team has contacted many of the groups currently providing food in the park. The HOPE Team facilitated conversations with these groups and explained the safety concerns for homeless citizens, as well as the general public who use the park. The Corona PD has also met with members of the local clergy to discuss the safety and community concerns and to search for a solution. The members of the clergy and the Corona PD have both expressed their commitment to continue to meet and develop a solution to this issue.

As a first step in order to relieve some of the safety concerns, the City of Corona will post signs at City Park educating the public of the violation of existing California Health and Safety Codes related to non-permitted distribution of food. These signs will be clearly posted in the near future in order to discourage the non-permitted distribution of food.

Going forward, the HOPE Team, along with other Corona Police officers, will monitor City Park for the non-permitted distribution of food, and for a period of time will focus on the educational process rather than the enforcement process to inform those who have become accustomed to providing non-permitted food to our homeless citizens on the legal requirements to continue doing so.

For groups who wish to continue feeding the homeless at City Park, a “Special Use Permit” will be required by the City of Corona as well as a “Food Distribution Permit” required by the County of Riverside Department of Environmental Health. The process for both permits can be initiated simultaneously however the City permit must be granted prior to County permit approval. For further details on how to obtain a “Special Use Permit” from the City of Corona, please visit our Community Development Department at City Hall or go to www.DiscoverCorona.com. To obtain a “Food Distribution Permit” please contact the County of Riverside Department of Environmental Health at 951-273-9140 or visit their website at www.rivcoeh.org.

If you have any questions about the information provided please contact Lieutenant Alan Lorton at 951-736-2281 or email Alan.Lorton@DiscoverCorona.com.