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April 16, 2012

Philadelphia Mayor Forms Panel on Food Aid for Homeless

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who has come under fire for proposing a ban on open-air soup kitchens in city parks, has appointed a committee to forge a plan for feeding the homeless, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

While the city remains committed to moving food service for the needy indoors, Mr. Nutter said the 10-member committee, chaired by a top Philadelphia health official and including advocates for the homeless, will seek to "marshal our goodwill and resources so that we can help vulnerable, hungry people … in more effective ways."

Critics of the ban claim it is aimed at closing the largest outdoor feeding sites along Benjamin Franklin Parkway ahead of the opening of the $200-million Barnes Collection museum, a charge the mayor rejects. Civil-rights attorneys are considering a legal challenge to the ban.