Woman In Trouble For Feeding Hungry Neighborhood Children - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Woman In Trouble For Feeding Hungry Neighborhood Children

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CHESTER TWP., Pa. -

An effort to help the community nearly stopped short because of red tape. A Delaware County woman says all she wanted was to feed hungry children, but got in trouble with leaders in her township.

The woman behind this effort is donating her time and energy to help the kids in her neighborhood. But she didn't clear it with township officials, so they're cracking down. 

Every day at lunchtime, the kids in this neighborhood can get a healthy meal for free.  In a township where the per capita income hovers around $19,000 a year, that's no small gift.  Angela Prattis makes it possible.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia supplies the food and keeps close tabs on the program.  Prattis has to fill out weekly reports.  And every other week a state worker checks on her.

So, imagine her surprise when Chester Township officials told her she'd have to shut it down.

The township says Prattis is in violation of zoning codes.  She lives in a residential zone where handing out food to children is not allowed.

Prattis says when the township's parks director told her, she pleaded for assistance.

The township says Prattis needs to go before the zoning board to ask for a variance but that's going to cost her up to $1,000 in administrative fees. 

They're letting her finish out the summer but have warned her next summer they'll fine her $600 a day if she doesn't comply.

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