A Philadelphia woman known as the ‘Lunch Lady’ is facing a $600 a day fine for giving free meals to low-income children in her neighborhood, but the city doesn’t like it.
Angela Prattis says she donates her time to give away the food, which she says feeds about 60 kids a day, but town leaders say she’s not allowed to give away the food because she needs to get permission from the Chester Township zoning board.
“Angela saw it as a way to contribute to the community in a positive way,” Anne Ayella, a member of the archdiocese, said. “There was nothing in it for her.”
Prattis laughed and said, “I don’t make a dime.”
Prattis lived in the township for three years. She reportedly distributes the meals to the 60 or so children at a gazebo on her property during the summer months, when children are home from school.
The Delaware County Times reports that another resident alerted the council about the distribution a few weeks ago. The council investigated and ruled that the practice is not permitted without a variance, the paper reported.
“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,” she said.
Chester Township, which has a per capita income of $19,000 a year, says Prattis lives in a residential zone, hence handing out food to children is not allowed. The township says she needs to go before a zoning board to ask for a variance, which would cost her up to $1,000 in administrative fees.