Posted 11 years ago on Aug. 16, 2012, 4:47 p.m. EST by LeoYo
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Woman Could Be Fined $600 For Giving Children Free Lunches
By Melissa Knowles
A woman trying to feed the kids in her neighborhood during the summer may be fined for her good deed. Angela Prattis of Chester Township, outside Philadelphia, has spent the past few months handing out free lunches to the children in her community while they're home from school for the summer break. The food, supplied by the archdiocese of Philadelphia, helps low-income residents of the township, which has a per capita income of $19,000 a year.
The city council was alerted to Prattis's free lunches and ruled that if she continues to give away food next summer, she will need a variance or be fined $600 a day. The council says she needs a variance because she's giving away meals in a residential area, which is a zoning violation. However, if Prattis gets a variance to distribute the food, the administrative fees would cost up to $1,000. The Chester Township City Council has agreed to allow Prattis to continue distributing food for the duration of the summer, but next summer is a whole new battle. Currently, Prattis files paperwork weekly and is visited by a state worker biweekly to ensure she is doing what she says she's doing.
Prattis, who does not make any money on the meal distribution, says she wanted to help make sure the neighborhood kids received at least one healthy meal a day during the summer. "You have houses here. The roofs are falling in, and they could be focused on a lot more serious issues than me feeding children," Prattis said of the city council's ruling.
People on the social news site Reddit are outraged by the ruling. One person said, "A woman is penalized for doing what the government, theoretically, should be doing but aren't." Another person wrote, "No good deed goes unpunished." Prattis told local news crews that she will continue doing her part to help in her community.