A CBS2 investigation captured video of employees with the Los Angeles Homeless Services throwing food meant for the unhoused straight into the dumpster. Now local leaders are demanding their own investigation.
"I was outraged when I saw your piece," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer told CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein.
The CBS2 Investigation showed outreach workers with LAHSA tossing cases of food, packages with a sandwich, an apple and water, into the trash.
"Here, there's food, and it's being thrown in the trash? That's what appeared to be the case from watching your report. That's outrageous to me," the city attorney said.
For months, CBS2 Investigates watched as LAHSA employees would pick up food every morning to give to the thousands of homeless in communities around the city, using it as a way to try and convince those less fortunate to accept services and housing.
However, some of the workers are seen on camera going to Target, Starbucks and McDonalds, handing out some of the food, but sometimes driving around for hours and passing homeless along the way.
Then, CBS2 cameras caught workers taking the cases of food out of their cars and throwing them in dumpsters.
LAHSA admitted that they do discard meals because they're perishable, but Feuer wrote a letter to LAHSA demanding answers.
"Let's say all of it would expire that night, there are people that night who are looking for decent food," Feuer told CBSLA.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti also said he was concerned about what he saw in the CBS2 investigation and is now asking LAHSA how this could happen.
"If there's food that is perfectly good that's being thrown away, that's unacceptable," Garcetti told CBSLA.
When asked for comment, LAHSA said they have not yet received the city attorney's letter, but said they will of course respond to the city.
Advocates for the homeless were in disbelief when they saw the footage of employees dumping cases of food meant for the unhoused.
"To see that much waste coming from the county and LAHSA — it's just unexplainable," said Daniel Conway.
Conway is part of the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights, which sued the city and county over the handling of the homeless crisis.
"It was heartbreaking," he added. "There [are] so many families in need of food, I can't imagine how there's a single wasted meal in Los Angeles."
While LAHSA said that they throw food out because it's perishable, critics like Conway said there are plenty of places, such as schools, food banks and shelters, that would have accepted the food.
"To the extent that there's ever any leftover food at the end of the day," he said. "Donate it to local schools. Donate to food banks, shelters — there are so many places but to see it end up in a dumpster is hard to understand."
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