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Buttery Shelf Eatery Forced To Stop Feeding The Homeless After Complaints From Nearby Businesses in Western Indiana.

For years, a small restaurant in western Indiana served a free meal to customers every Thursday. Unsurprisingly, it was a big hit, especially among those who struggle to regularly afford a hot meal. And the number of people needing assistance has “exploded” recently; the number of people served at soup kitchens has nearly doubled in the past year, as the Lafayette Journal and Courier noted in its investigation.
But Buttery Shelf Eatery served, instead of serves, free meals because of persistent complaints from some nearby businesses who did not appreciate the presence of poor people in the area and forced the restaurant to end its free lunches.

Despite the large crowd that showed up to Buttery Shelf Eatery — up to 70 people at a time — there have been relatively few incidents between patrons and no one has been arrested or even had to file a police report.

Ravallette, a volunteer who used to receive free lunches and now helps hand them out, liked the sense of community at the gatherings. “What I liked most about it is that a lot of times, when you go into a public place, you don’t see a representative segment of the community.”

Leading the charge against Buttery Shelf Eatery is Jerry Kalal, a former marine who opened K. Dee’s Coffee and Roasting Co. in 2007 and felt that the free lunches were scaring away customers. He estimated he lost between $500-$800 in weekly sales as a result.

Kalal complained to Buttery Shelf owner Cherrie Buckley, telling her, “You do this little soup kitchen, but you’re closing down all the other businesses.”  more


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