She feeds hungry neighborhood children...and gets a huge fine

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by NickZac, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #1
    This lady is making a genuine effort to feed children who may otherwise go hungry...and the government seems to not be working with her, but against her. Many people don't even realize that people are hurting like this in the US. This is a clear example of a neighborhood in which residents are the working poor...they get completely swept under the rug because they are usually too wealthy for government aid, but too impoverished to afford many necessities of life, like food or daycare. The working poor often work two full time jobs, just to live ever so slightly above the poverty line. The are arguably among the hardest working of citizens. Not many political candidates talk about this nor do people who are into politics and social issues, and many news organizations outright neglect it...


    "This isn't a working-class neighborhood. It's a hardworking-class neighborhood."

    "We had a nasty storm last Wednesday, and I only set up one table because I didn't think the kids would come in the pouring rain"..."They all came. I served 20 children in the pouring rain."

    -Angela Prattis via Fox News


    Initial article...
    A Philadelphia Town Threatens To Shutter This Woman's Free Lunch Program

    A Philadelphia woman who runs a free lunch program for dozens of children during the summer may be forced to shut down by the local township.

    Angela Prattis told NBC Philadelphia she received a warning letter from Chester Township, ordering her to shut down or face a $600 fine.

    “We’re talking about children,” Prattis said. “Children. It’s unbelievable. They’ve never once said anything to me in reference to what to do to be in the right standing with the township.”

    The program is funded by the state's department of education and backed by the archdiocese of Philadelphia. On an average day, they feed 60 children.
    But the township claims Prattis is operating in a residential zone and didn't apply for the proper permit––a $1,000 application she can't afford.

    Free lunch programs are run-of-the-mill in most states, where charitable organizations look to fill the gap for low-income families who rely on meals provided by schools. In Pennsylvania, 700,000 children receive free or reduced price lunches, according to The Post Gazette, but the state has had trouble getting food to children in need during the summer, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas.

    With the new school year scheduled to begin soon, Prattis says she'll take her chances and continue operating.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/phil...omans-free-lunch-program-2012-8#ixzz241BRcWJo




    Recent Update...
    It sounds like they are backing off for at least this year...

    Mom vows to keep feeding needy kids from her driveway despite city crackdown

    A Pennsylvania woman has vowed to continue doling out free lunches to children in her hardscrabble neighborhood, even though officials there have threatened to fine her $600 a day.

    Angela Prattis, 41, was ordered by the Chester Township Council to wind down the makeshift dining room she runs in the driveway of her modest home during the summer for the hungry kids who come to her daily in search of a good meal. Under pressure from the community, the local leaders agreed to let Prattis finish her mission this summer, but told her she would need a zoning variance to resume the operation next summer.

    "I'm going to continue to feed the children."
    - Angela Prattis

    "I'm going to continue to feed the children," Prattis told FoxNews.com. "I'm just doing this for the kids. I don't want a big fight.

    "I just want to be in right standing with the town," added Prattis, who feeds 20 or more kids on some days. "I know how to follow protocol, as long as it's clearly defined."

    The mother of four, who works as a massage therapist, says she serves up the lunches while the kids are out of school because many are too poor to get good lunches at home. Prattis gets the food from the Philadelphia Archdiocese, which makes daily deliveries of pre-packaged lunches, drinks and snacks to her doorstep. She pointed out that the archdiocese required her to take a preparatory class focusing on nutrition -- and other essentials -- before serving kids.

    "I'm not working with some fly-by-night operation," she maintained. "This is the archdiocese, for crying out loud."

    Prattis, her husband, Derrick, and their children recently moved into the home after living for years in the Delaware County Housing Projects in nearby Woodlyn. She says her new neighborhood isn't affluent, but the people are salt of the earth types.

    "This isn't a working-class neighborhood," she quipped. "It's a hardworking-class neighborhood."

    The neighborhood kids enjoy the lunches and benefit from the nutrition, she said.

    "We have tons of children, here," Prattis said. "There's a lady who baby-sits a bunch of kids and she brings them around because the parents can't afford to have them in day care and feed them at the same time.

    "We had a nasty storm last Wednesday, and I only set up one table because I didn't think the kids would come in the pouring rain," she said, before adding, "They all came. I served 20 children in the pouring rain."

    On a typical summer weekday, neighborhood men set up three plastic tables in Prattis's driveway, along with about 25 folding chairs donated by The Church of The Overcomer in nearby Trainer, Pa. Food from the Archdiocese's "Feeding Program" arrives around 9:30 a.m. truck. Prattis said the eager children are usually on hand when the Archdiocese truck arrives, and help unload their own meals.

    "They know that I'm committed and going to be there at that particular time for them. "It means a lot for them to have a friendly face that they know will be there every day. And for me, I know when they're with me, at the least, they are safe and having fun, and out of harm's way, and not getting into trouble."

    But on July 31, Councilman William Kennard showed up at a meeting of the neighborhood civic association and told the gathering Prattis' free lunch program was unlawful. At the town council meeting two days later, elected officials voted to levy a $600-a-day fine for each day Prattis fed the kids.

    Kennard could not be reached for comment.


    Prattis continued to serve the meals, and, although no fine was levied, on Aug. 10 she received a letter from the township saying she could serve kids until Aug. 24, but that she must apply for a variance next year. It costs $1,000 to apply for the variance, she said, and there is no guarantee the council will accept it, Prattis said.

    One way or another, she said she'll be feeding kids next summer.

    "What's in my heart?" she asked. "I feel like they could be focusing on a lot of other serious issues that are taking place in my neighborhood, instead of something I think is very positive and keeping our kids on the right side of the law."

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/1...p-feeding-kids/?intcmp=trending#ixzz241CjPgNT
     
  2. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #2
    I bet the same people who are currently defending her would jump on her in an instant and blame the city if she were to accidentally poison a child/ren by serving spoiled or otherwise contaminated food.

    The laws and zoning restrictions aren't there to give people like her a hard time, they are there to insure the general welfare of the population. Just because one is acting with good intentions does not exempt one from the law.
     
  3. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #3
    There's a difference between carrying out a harmful act with good intentions and having an accident while carrying out charitable work, with good intentions.

    Pretty sure the public are able to distinguish between these two.
     
  4. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #4
    Judging from the socioeconomic demographic she's serving, I sincerely doubt it.
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    :rolleyes:

    We all know how good the judgment of the rich is.
     
  6. NickZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #6
    The law is working against her and even more so the children that she is serving. If the city wanted to work with her, some sort of an exemption to the $1,000 cost of application should be worked out, as it seems unlikely that she, or those she serves, can afford it. This isn't an operation for profit, but an operation because people are going hungry and options for food are clearly limited to at least some degree. It's also possible that her work is even diverting crime. Additionally, the article notes she has had some training, although it does not specify the degree.
     
  7. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #7
    Seems to me she's screwed either way. If she had government approval, the Fox News article would have been something like:

    THE COMMUNIST NEXT DOOR
    How much do you know about your neighbors? Even as the policies of their liberal representatives destroy the economy, socialist activists like Angela Prattis construct neighborhood communes providing equality of outcome to dozens of local indigents, with full approval of the government of Chester Township, Pennsylvania. Is this the new face of Communist indoctrination in the United States?
     
  8. NickZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #8
    How does this relate to the issues encountered by the working poor? Who cares about Fox News in regards to the bigger issue? Should we also talk about how if we had stronger gun laws or if gay marriage was banned that the kids would somehow have full stomachs? Can we forget bashing the other political side for a minute and look at the issue at hand?
     
  9. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #9
    If only we could, but you're already getting sucked into a politically angled narrative. All I was doing was casting it in relief.

    If you need me to explicitly agree that feeding hungry kids is more important, then you have it. Obviously I do.
     
  10. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #10
    I disagree.

    RE: Rich kids of instagram.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #11
    Often times the cities hands are tied. They make an expetion for her they would have to for a lot of other people / companies they do not want doing this stuff.
     
  12. ThisIsNotMe macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    #12
    Liberals being liberals.
    Cannot build communities as they profit off their destruction.
     
  13. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #13
    But the public is not the court. And if a kid or two came down with food poisoning, someone would likely be held liable.*

    I don't blame the woman, as her heart is in the right place. But It's somewhat amazing that this effort is being stalled for want of $1,000. Surely some benefactor can (or should) be found.




    *As a former food professional, I'm aware of and value proper food handling.
     
  14. NickZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #14
    So feeding someone who can't afford to buy food is now political? Last I checked we called it altruistic, and it was a virtue free of your political biases, whatever they may be and in whatever way they may point.
     
  15. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #15
    It's most definitely political. And abhorrent.


     
  16. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #16
    One might assume you shun the supermarket.

    Lest you forget how to fend for yourself.

    :rolleyes:
     
  17. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #17
    Are you stalking me? :rolleyes:
     
  18. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    He has a point - unless grow your own food you are reliant on others to survive.
     
  19. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #19
    That's not the point of my reply, he replied the exact same thing in another thread about AIDS. (both threads are old) It would appear he's going through my post history. I think he's got a an e-crush on me.
     
  20. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #20
    That is very well said. It is unfortunate, but the law does appear to be against her in this case. The township can easily help her set up a legitimate not for profit organization that will allow her to continue her goodwill. It is sad to see that someone is reaching to help and being knocked down every step of the way.

    I don't think she believes she is exempt from the law but I do believe she sees what she is doing as more important than even the threat of being fined.
     
  21. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #21
    LMFAO. An e-crush on you?

    Ummm ... no.

    But that's an interesting way to avoid responding to the point.
     
  22. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #22
    Paying for your own groceries is different than someone else paying for your groceries. :rolleyes:

    Or we can have it your way food stamps for everyone. Maybe the government should just ration food.
     
  23. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #23
    More irrational arguments.

    :rolleyes:

    Do you ever get tired of spouting nonsense?
     
  24. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #24

    Oh you don't address the part before my sarcasm. I am shocked again. :rolleyes:
     
  25. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #25
    When you're unable to pay for groceries and you have children who are crying because they are hungry, it doesn't matter who pays for your groceries. What part of that do you not understand.

    People have pride. Even poor people. Most would prefer to not use a Link card, but at the same time, that link card is often what stands between their children and hunger.

    Is there fraud and abuse? Is there waste? Are there a small minority of people who don't need the assistance? Yes, yes and yes. But, is it worth having one child malnourished to fix what is really a tiny amount of waste?
     

Share This Page