Hampton man trying to keep food outreach going; faces legal action

A plea for help from a cook who just wants to feed people in need.

HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- A plea for help from a cook who just wants to feed people in need.

13News Now introduced you to Andre Gray last year. He cooked massive amounts of food in his Hampton home and gave the meals away.

The city shut him down, and now he needs help to get his outreach back up and running.

Andre Gray started “Kitchen Kingpin” with one goal in mind, to help others and help solve problems he sees in his community every day.

“We look for people in need of food,” Gray says. “If you're down on your luck you can come here and get a home-cooked meal.”

Gray and his team serve between 300 to 500 people a week.

City officials told 13News Now back in October, Gray is responsible for not only a license but collecting a food and beverage tax among other requirements, all which Gray wasn't doing.

Now, city officials are cracking down.

The Hampton Health department sent a letter to Gray ordering him to stop serving meals from his home to the public until he gets a permit. If not, Gray faces possible legal action.

“I want to remain in this community and I don't want to be a rebel,” Gray says. “I'm just asking you please let's unite and come together and form the community cafe.”

Gray is now forced to run an official business. That means submitting an application, floor plan, menu and pay the applicable fees immediately. But he's up for the task.

“If we go legit it's more we can do if we expand into a business,” Gray says. “I’m taking everybody’s safety into consideration and I want to abide by the law.”

Gray created GoFundMe and a PayPal accounts, hoping that the community, who he's given so much to in the last year, will give back to him and help him keep his outreach alive.

“I've seen positive results, I didn't want to stop now and let it die,” Gray says.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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