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Third task force meeting to address feeding the needy in Raleigh

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A task force in charge of coming up with ideas on how to hand out food to the homeless in Raleigh will hold its final meeting Tuesday.

The issue stirred up a national conversation in August after Raleigh police told a group giving food to the homeless in Moore Square to disperse due to a city ordinance. Since then, the city has held a series of task force meetings at Marbles Museum to try and find a better alternative for feeding the homeless in downtown.

While the city has not enforced the ordinance, and charities are still allowed to distribute food, community leaders are trying to find a better way.

"As a society, as a community, what we do for the least among us, that's how we're going to be measured at the end of the day. This is a kind of a yard stick for how our community overall is doing," said Debra King with the Wake County Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness at September's meeting.

Stakeholders split into groups to talk about where they distribute food the most, and where it should go in the future. Police said excessive littering is one of the biggest problems with distributing in outdoor public places like Moore Square.

Some people who have found themselves living on the streets say they appreciate being involved in the conversation.

"I'm pleased at how the City of Raleigh is handling everything. This actually should have been put in place before, but like they say, better late than never," said Anthony Alston.

The final task force meeting takes place at 6  p.m. Tuesday at the Marbles Kids Museum. They plan to develop specific action steps and recommendations to report to the City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee at its Nov. 26 meeting.

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