Chester Township vows to fine the lunch lady
A township resident said she will continue handing out free, pre-packaged meals to underprivileged children in her Toby Farms neighborhood, despite a notification from township officials that she’ll face fines for doing so.
“I’m not stopping,” said Angela Prattis, who has been distributing meals she receives from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to about 60 children from a gazebo on her property this summer. “These kids are hungry. I’m not tearing down the community. I’m keeping the children out of harm’s way.”
Prattis, who has lived in the township for about three years, started distributing meals and drinks to underprivileged children at her church, the Church of the Overcomer in Trainer, several years ago. This year, after giving birth to her second child, she began distributing the meals from the gazebo in her yard.
Township Council Chairman Stanley Kester said the township was notified of the distribution via a telephone call from another resident a few weeks ago. He asked the township solicitor, Stephen Polaha, to investigate the matter, and in a response to council two weeks ago, Polaha returned an opinion stating that, in terms of the township’s zoning laws, the distribution “was not permitted without a variance.”