Blackwell: Nutter's outdoor feeding ban is a 'negative approach'

City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell slammed Mayor Nutter’s outdoor feeding ban during today’s Council session –calling it a “negative approach” to dealing with Philadelphia’s hungry.

Nutter announced yesterday a ban on outdoor food distribution in city parks to encourage more indoor, safe and healthy eating. The will would not affect family picnics and barbecues. Violators will receive up to two citations and then a $150 ticket. (Read today’s story here.)

“It just doesn’t make sense. If you want to do something for homeless people have places where they can go,” said Blackwell, a vocal advocate for the homeless. “Then you’ll have to invest in more shelter beds… this is a negative approach with dealing with people in town who are hungry.”

Blackwell says she hopes the ban is reconsidered. Other Council members echoed her sentiments.

“People, who are homeless and live in poverty growing up in our city, deserve respect,” said Freshman Councilwoman Cindy Bass. “They deserve dignity and it calls into question when we’re espousing a policy that doesn’t seem to be respectful or dignified on their behalf so, it’s definitely something that needs to be looked at with a very critical eye and something that I encourage all of my colleagues and Council members to pay attention to.”