PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia is ending its ban of outdoor food service in city parks. Mayor Kenney’s office announced today it’s formally withdrawing the regulation put into place under Mayor Michael Nutter back in March of 2012.
The Kenney Administration’s announcement doesn’t really change much. Paul Messing, who represents Chosen 300 and other religious groups who challenged the ban, says the plaintiffs have continued to feed the homeless in public areas, thanks to an August 2012 federal injunction that prevented the ban from being implemented.
“The church groups continued their program, the city didn’t’ interfere with it and at the same time, the city started to develop a concerted effort to work with the plaintiffs and others to deal more effectively with the problem,” Messing said.
The City established the Food Access Collaborative in 2013, which works with service groups to improve the availability of food and related services. Former Mayor Michael Nutter had argued the public feeding ban would eliminate food health concerns and protect the cleanliness of city parks.