Angela Prattis has spent part of the summer distributing meals to hungry children in Philadelphia, but now, the township has informed her that if she does not obtain a costly “ordinance,” she will be fined $600 each day she distributes food.
The local government has tried to get citizens to quit feeding the hungry, hoping that doing so will force the poor into shelters.
Ms. Prattis has been distributing meals she receives from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to about 60 children from a gazebo on her property this summer. “These kids are hungry. I’m not tearing down the community. I’m keeping the children out of harm’s way.”
Prattis, who has lived in the township for about three years, started distributing meals and drinks to underprivileged children at her church, the Church of the Overcomer in Trainer, several years ago. This year, after giving birth to her second child, she began distributing the meals from the gazebo in her yard.
She believes the government has more important things to worry about. “You have houses here, the roofs are falling in, and they could be focused on a lot of more serious issues than me feeding children,” Prattis said.
“How is feeding kids a bad thing?” she asked. “I’m doing this from my heart because I love children. And these kids are hungry. Last Friday, I had 20 children walk to my house in the pouring rain for lunch, and at 2 p.m., they came back for a snack. Tell me this program is not needed.”
But Township Council Chairman Stanley Kester says the distribution “was not permitted without a variance.”
That variance costs about $1,000, according to NBC10.
Are we to understand that Ms. Prattis would be “permitted” to distribute the meals without any other changes if she were to pay the township $1000. This is not a variance. This is a shakedown.