Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced a ban Wednesday on feeding the homeless outdoors in city parks and on city sidewalks.
The rule is to take effect in 30 days, WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, reported. There will be one exception for the next year — groups with permits will be able to do outdoor feeding on the grounds of City Hall.
The mayor said the aim of the ban is to encourage homeless people to get meals indoors.
“I believe that people, regardless of their station in life, should be able to sit down at a table to a meal — inside away from the heat and cold, the rain and the snow,” Nutter said.
Homeless advocates say shelters and soup kitchens in the city do not have the space for all those who need food.
Many of the groups provide food on Franklin Parkway, home to many of the city’s major museums and other institutions. Philly Restart provides food for 300 people there on Mondays.
“I would love for someone to put us out of business by providing that in a different place but since there is not, we have be there to do this,” Adam Bruckner, a spokesman for the group, said.
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