Woman Faces $600 a Day Fine for Giving Free Lunches to Poor Children

Picture: Beau Wade (CC)

This is tyranny.

Gil Spencer reports for the Daily Times:

In a summer of surprises, the biggest one for Angela Prattis was being treated like a criminal for handing out free lunches to the children in her neighborhood.

Her strangely considerate behavior earned her a visit from a Chester Township official who told her to knock it off.

“He told me to shut it down,” Prattis said. “He said it was a zoning issue.”

She was told she needed to apply for a variance to serve lunch to her neighbors’ children. The application would cost her $1,000. And she was threatened with a fine of $600 a day for every day she continued to allegedly violate the township’s zoning law.

God bless the Chester Township zoning board. What would the good citizens of that municipality do without its protection from the scourge of unlicensed lunch givers?

To gauge the magnitude of this official stupidity, one needs only to stop by the Prattis’ Powell Road home on on any given weekday just before noon.

In her driveway you will find a canopy gazebo covering three folding tables and chairs. At those tables you will find children, mostly under the age of 10, eating boxed lunches.


Read more here.

31 Comments on "Woman Faces $600 a Day Fine for Giving Free Lunches to Poor Children"

  1. Calypso_1 | Aug 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm |

    Zoning boards and code enforcement – AKA: homeguard, stasi, bag men.

  2. emperorreagan | Aug 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

    Dear Heavenly Father,

    Please save us from people being neighborly or generous.  It’s un-American.


    • Grand Muff Dick Cheney | Aug 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

       It’s a zoning issue. Blame the Chester Township Corporation, not America.

      • emperorreagan | Aug 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

        Zoning issues are fundamentally petty beuracrats being dicks.

      • Jin The Ninja | Aug 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm |

        that’s a bullshit response, and you know it.

      • TapMeYouFascists | Aug 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm |

        When you are obliged to do something wrong, then is it your moral responsibility to deny that command? This question has been answered historically, philosophically, and in my case, personally. The apparent answer is an emphatic ‘YES!’.

        Go and feed the hungry. The kindness that you show them is the light of this world and the meaning of Love. I can think of no disgraceful accusation as base as any encumbrance upon this motive; be it an issue of national, regional, state, county, municipal or personal affairs.

  3. Anarchy Pony | Aug 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

    Clearly we have a new frontrunner for the title of History’s Greatest Monster.

  4. TapMeYouFascists | Aug 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm |

    This is exactly what’s wrong with the dominant culture. The law and the economy are treated as sacrosanct while people starve and/or are murdered. I’m disgusted by those who impede access to food to the hungry. Such people should face so much rejection and scorn that they do not feel welcome in our society. I hope they learn the value of feeding our brothers and sisters; or, failing that, that they die a slow death, cold and alone, in a ditch filled with other shit.

  5. emperorreagan | Aug 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm |

    Wow, what happened to the comments?

    I guess Chester Township is zoning the comments.

  6. Bruteloop | Aug 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm |

    In the same country where someone is almost criminalised for growing vegetables in his own garden but maniacs can buy guns and ammo with impunity.

  7. Apathesis | Aug 21, 2012 at 6:53 pm |

    Surprise, surprise.  Another story about bureaucratic scum who would choose to uphold some bogus law in detriment to the greater good.  Way to violate the spirit of the law.

    I sure hope everyone in that town raises hell in support of this woman.

    What’s next?  Ticketing people for handing out candy on Halloween, citing a zoning or business violation?

  8. When it comes to food, US system seems to be obsessed with safety. It is annoying most of the time, but there may be some sense to that: A registered food service would be accountable for sanitary conditions. But if one of the kids this woman was feeding did not wash his or her hands after using the restroom and stuck his or her little finger into a pan of mashed potatoes, which caused everybody else to have an e.coli infection, who would be responsible? Perhaps, the city officials saved this woman from potential financial demise.

    • Tchoutoye | Aug 22, 2012 at 5:12 am |

      That could happen in any family setting. Let’s ban all family dinners!

    • Jin The Ninja | Aug 22, 2012 at 8:42 am |

       surely people who rebuke the oppression of animals, should rebuke the systems that engender it?

    • yeah having people starving is also infectious. i understand the sanitation deal but when they are going hungry thats the least of their problems 

  9. anonymous | Aug 21, 2012 at 8:19 pm |

    Yeah we’ve got Hmong farmers being “targeted” because apparently when they parked 30 cars in the shoulder of the road during harvest time they were “disrupting the quietude” and also farming is “commercial” apparently even though they don’t sell anything in the jurisdiction.  Hmm.  Otherwise all the other farmers selling sweet corn, eggs and honey have no problems.  Yep the Hmong were told to not plan of farming next year — 100 acres and several families depending on gardening with hand tools as their main occupation but the township director is a multimillionaire “protecting” the gardens.  Welcome to AmeriKKKa.

  10. It doesn’t look like this woman is actually providing the food herself, the Catholic Church is sending her the food and she’s just hosting the eating area. I don’t think there should be any restrictions on what she’s doing, but it’s not like she’s providing all the meals herself.

    Just an extra wrinkle in the story.

  11. Tchoutoye | Aug 22, 2012 at 4:56 am |

    Reminds me of potlatch being banned in the US and Canada as a “worse than useless custom” that was seen as wasteful, unproductive, and “contrary to civilized values” (as in: “Christian capitalist” values).

  12. psymonkey | Aug 22, 2012 at 10:23 am |

    I read an article about how hard it is to get fresh food in Chester. Elementary school kids were shown a tomato. Not a single one of them knew what it was. In order to buy groceries in Chester you have to travel an hour outside of town. Its a war zone.

  13. Jeffery Allen | Aug 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

    This is government truly run amok.

  14. Fascism and totalitarianism are very much alive and well in this, the Land of the Lie and the Home of the Slave.

Comments are closed.