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Lunch lady: No fines for her free lunches, but a fee

Lunch lady: A church member distributing state-funded free lunches for kids from her home on behalf of the Catholic church initially was threatened with a $600 fines is now facing a $1,000 zoning variance fee if she wants to continue.

By Associated Press / August 17, 2012

A lunch lady in Pennsylvania diistributing free state-funded lunches to kids from her home has to get a zoning variance -- costing $1,000 - if she wants to continue. Shown here: a Nature's Own Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich.

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Chester, Pa.

A southeastern Pennsylvania woman who hands out free lunch boxes to children in her neighborhood, won't be fined but has to apply for a zoning variance to continue her program next summer.

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Church youth director Angela Prattis says she had run the meal program from her church for three years before she began feeding about 60 kids in front of her Delaware County home this summer after having a baby.  The boxed lunches are dropped off at her house by the Archdioses of Philadelphia and are funded by the state The church says about 450 people hand out food from homes or churches in the Philadelphia area.

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Officials in Chester Township initially threatened Prattis with fines of $600 per day, but she says they withdrew the fines after news organizations began asking questions.

Township Manager William Piserik says nobody is against the program but Prattis needs a zoning variance.

NBC 10 Philadelphia reported that to apply for a variance would cost $1,000.

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