The lunch lady fined $600per day in her township in Pennsylvania has been garnering a lot of attention this week — we reported on the issue two days ago — and while a fine hasn’t kicked in yet for Angela Prattis, it seems the township is determined to shake her down one way or the other if she continues feeding needy kids.
The lunch lady fined $600 lives in Toby Farms community of Chester Township, and during the summer — when schools that often provide needy kids with much-appreciated breakfasts and lunches are closed — Prattis provides as many as 60 kids in the area with boxed lunches as part of a subsidized program. The lunch lady’s program is funded by the state department of education and administered by the archdiocese of Philadelphia, and she explains how vital the service is for some of the children in her vicinity:
“I’m not stopping. These kids are hungry. I’m not tearing down the community. I’m keeping the children out of harm’s way… Last Friday, I had 20 children walk to my house in the pouring rain for lunch, and at 2 pm they came back for a snack. Tell me this program is not needed.”
It seems the lunch lady’s fine was the typical tale of municipality bureaucracy gone wild, and, indeed, a lot of it comes down to money — Prattis says that she will either be fined $600 per day, or there’s an alternative: To pay $1,000 for a special permit that allows her to feed the hungry kids.
Since the lunch lady fined $600 story hit national news sources, Bill Pisarek, the Chester Township business manager, commented to a local NBC affiliate to explain why the township seeks to levy the hefty fine. Pisarek explains:
“Basically the property is in an R3 residential zone… We’re not here to go after her, to hurt her, to take money from her or to prevent her from feeding kids that need the food.”
The lunch lady says that, until she has a chance to appeal the fine or ordinance fee, she plans to keep feeding needy kids lunch.
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