Councilwoman wants compromise in Philly’s outdoor feeding ban

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s ban on feeding the hungry in city parks will get put under the microscope by City Council.  

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell says the mayors ban is unfair both to the homeless and to the volunteers who take time and spend money to pass out meals.

“We will proceed if we need hearings if it doesn’t look like the task force which the mayor is creating which I represent city council works,” said Blackwell.  “If that works we won’t need public hearings, but we may need public hearings.”

Council just approved Blackwell’s resolution to schedule hearings.  Meanwhile, she’s hoping both sides can meet in the middle.

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“Where people are not fined and where people aren’t forced into taking health lessons or health classes,” said Blackwell.  “I am hopeful that we can come to a compromise as we have done in the past so that the homeless are not penalized and victimized and the people who try to feed them aren’t as well.”

Blackwell disagrees with forcing groups to hand out meals in a designated feeding area outside City Hall.

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