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'If you need it, come in and grab it' | St. Charles deli pays it forward with wall of free meals

What started with an act of kindness Monday has grown to more than 100 free meals for anyone who needs it at Ruma's Deli

ST CHARLES, Mo. — Instead of art on the wall at Ruma’s Deli in St. Charles, there are about 100 receipts. But those meals have not been eaten yet. They’re for people in need of a meal during what’s been a rough year for many St. Lousians.

Owner Dana Bannister said the wall started just this past Monday with 10 orders for those who need it. There are now about 100 pieces of paper on that wall now. She said some people have already come in and taken advantage of the generosity of her customers.

Bannister said each meal is different too. The customer gets to pick what they want to give. Like a lunch special, which is a sandwich, chips and a drink. In fact, one customer came in just the other day and bought a large Mostaccioli and a loaf of bread for someone who needs it.

“This community and the customers here are amazing,” Bannister said. “So, I knew if we put something out there that, of course, it would get some attention. But I never in my wildest dreams thought it like this.”

Bannister said about 99% of people who go over and look at the wall of receipts end up buying something to add to it when they get to the register.

She said they’ll continue doing this as long as they can.

"If anyone wants to come in and grab something, feel free to. If you need it, come in and grab it," Bannister said.

Ruma's Deli is located at 1500 Elm Street in St. Charles.