Philadephia: Remove Ban on Feeding Homeless in Parks

philadelphia

Target: Mayor of Philadelphia

Goal: Remove city ban on outside park feedings of homeless individuals so that these vital support and nutritional health services may continue.

Mayor Nutter is imposing a ban on all outdoor feedings of large numbers of people on city park land, including Love Park and the Ben Franklin Parkway, where outreach groups often offer free food. Violators will be charged a $150 fee. Large family or group gatherings, however, are not impacted by this ban. Those that “have” may continue to convene; the “have nots,” the hungry, may not.

Nutter says the feedings lack both sanitary conditions and dignity. However, for many outreach groups with limited funds and access to facilities, outdoor feedings are the only option. Open parks are readily accessible to the poor and easily monitored by police forces. Those in opposition suspect this civil rights violation is Nutter’s effort to keep the city “clean,” maintaining a low concentration of homeless individuals in public parks. Though the city of Philadelphia may not have a budget to provide for the needy, they should not interfere with existing feeding efforts. Sign this petition and tell Mayor Nutter to allow meals to continue to be provided outdoors or give groups the means to deliver these essential services in an approved area.

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PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Michael Nutter,

It has been brought to my attention that you have recently put a ban on the outdoor feeding of homeless and hungry individuals in your city of Philadelphia. You have said that the feedings lack both sanitary conditions and dignity. However, for many outreach groups with limited funds and access to facilities, outdoor feedings are the only way to serve individuals in desperation. Open parks have long been nondiscriminatory places, readily accessible to the poor, and easily monitored by police forces. I surely hope that this ban is not your effort to keep the city “clean” or free of vagrancy often unfairly associated with homeless individuals. Though the city of Philadelphia may not have a budget to provide for the needy, they should not interfere with existing feeding efforts.

Should Philadelphia boast its long-lasting brotherly love if there is room in its heart to turn the hungry and the homeless away? Please, Mayor Nutter, remove the ban on outdoor feedings or provide outreach organizations with a site to continue their operations.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Remember Jean Valjean of Les Miserables, who went to jail for 15 years and was forever persecuted and shunned for stealing a loaf of bread for his poor, helpless siblings, not even himself.
    The homeless get hungry too, and who is there for those who did not choose to be in their situation? Hope our society has advanced since the 18th century.

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