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.

  • Calypso_1

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

  • emperorreagan

    Dear Heavenly Father,

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


    • Grand Muff Dick Cheney

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

      • emperorreagan

        Zoning issues are fundamentally petty beuracrats being dicks.

      • Jin The Ninja

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

      • TapMeYouFascists

        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.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N7ALIJGK2R55DAGQ2DIOHB4ZCU Richard

          So you will pay her $600/day fines for doing so?

  • Anarchy Pony

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

  • TapMeYouFascists

    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.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N7ALIJGK2R55DAGQ2DIOHB4ZCU Richard

      And after being scorned and rejected, they should be shot on sight.

  • emperorreagan

    Wow, what happened to the comments?

    I guess Chester Township is zoning the comments.

    • Calypso_1

      It’s been getting worse.  I suspect more than a glitch.

      • http://disinfo.com Majestic

        Comments have been going into spam – the disinfogods are trying to find out why…

        • emperorreagan

          Good luck getting a straight answer from Eris.

        • Calypso_1

          It’s not just disinfo. Other disqus sites are having problems with various admin functions.

          • Jin The Ninja

            i’ve noticed my disqus acting bizarro also.

          • Grand Muff Dick Cheney


  • Bruteloop

    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.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZGM2JWSQQN3MBE7FBT2M22RLG4 golchab

    would you like something to drink with that lunch?   free water?  no, we fine for that too!


  • Apathesis

    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?

  • veganaut

    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

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

    • Jin The Ninja

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

    • Wanted

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

  • anonymous

    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.

  • SF2K01

    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.

  • Tchoutoye

    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).

    • Jin The Ninja

      love this ^.

  • psymonkey

    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.

  • Jeffery Allen

    This is government truly run amok.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N7ALIJGK2R55DAGQ2DIOHB4ZCU Richard

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