Judge throws out Philadelphia ban on public feedings

    A federal judge today blocked Philadelphia’s ban on serving food to the homeless and hungry outdoors.

    The judge granted a temporary, preliminary injunction to four groups who argued the ban infringed on their religious freedom.

    Plaintiff Brian Jenkins, director of Chosen 300 Ministries, choked back tears outside the courthouse after the ruling.

    “It affirms that we can do our service without interruption of government, without interruption of the city, and do not have to be subject to the sub-standard conditions of the apron of City Hall.”

    The judge cautioned his opinion might change as he reviews case law before writing a final opinion.

    However, he indicated he would likely block the ban for a year, giving the city and charity groups more time to compromise on serving conditions.

    A spokesman for the City of Philadelphia was not immediately available for comment.

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