A Good Deed May Cost This Lunch Lady Thousands.
Angela Prattis seems like she would be an exceptional citizen in the eyes of officials. She’s a stay-at-home mom for her three children, fosters a child, is a youth pastor and runs a neighborhood basketball program. However, she’s making headlines as the lunch lady fined for doing another good deed- feeding children. The Pennsylvania lunch lady is apparently violating a county ordinance by giving free lunches to children from her driveway and may have to pay a price for it.
Fined For Feeding Hungry Children?
Many consider what Prattis is doing- handing out free lunches for children in her driveway on summer afternoons- to be a noble act. As school is out during the summer, the lunches that schools provide are no longer, leaving children in her Pennsylvania Toby Farms community hungry. Delaware County officials, though, say that the free lunch service is against a County ordinance.
If Prattis continues past the end of August 2012, she’s been threatened that she’ll have to pay $600 per day to keep feeding children. If Angela Prattis wants to fight it in court, she’ll have to pay $1,000 in fines. A township manager said the problem is not that Angela Prattis is feeding children. It’s that people don’t want it in her driveway. Bill Chester, township business manager, talked to a NBC affiliate when the news got to the media and defended the township’s position, saying that it’s in an R3 residential zone.
Prattis is confused. The state has granted Angela Prattis permission to use her house as a place to distribute food if it's coming from where she volunteers, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Nutritional Development Services.
Public Backlash Against Lunch Lady Fined for Feeding Kids
The program affects at least 60 children, so people across the country are outraged that the government would try to shut it down and fine the lunch lady. Some are saying that the town just wants money. Prattis refuses to stop, insisting that the program to feed the children is necessary. She recounted a story about how 20 children once walked through the pouring rain for lunch and came back later for a snack.
“These kids are hungry,” Angela Prattis said.
The community has stepped up to help the lunch lady fined, donating money to cover the $1,000 fee. A local lawyer has also come forward and offered to represent her pro bono. However, she hopes she won’t have to use the donated money and that the fee will just be waived.