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Dedham Votes Down Proposed Expansion Of catering Company That Feeds Migrants

Written by on 02/22/2024

(DEDHAM, MA) — A no vote at a heated zoning board meeting in Dedham Wednesday night.

The Town of Dedham denied a permit for the expansion of a catering company that would’ve fed hundreds of unhoused people in Massachusetts.

It was a heated vote during a Zoning Board meeting on Wednesday night. The board ultimately denied a special permit for Giri Hotel Management, which the company had requested to expand the use of the empty Victory Grille on Elm Street. The restaurant has been closed for two years.

As of last Friday, Giri started preparing food in that vacant restaurant’s kitchen for the residents housed at the neighboring hotel Inn Dedham now, which they own.

“Currently we’re serving a little more than 400 guests right now,” explained a representative for Giri Hotel Management who spoke during the meeting.

He said they currently have around four employees working in that kitchen. The business owns several local hotels, nine of which currently house homeless people and newly arrived migrants.

Giri had hoped to expand capacity to allow the company to prepare meals for other hotels it owns that are being used as part of the state’s emergency shelter assistance shelter program.

“The question here is not about whether or not people should be here, the question is can we use this empty space as a way to feed human beings in crisis.” one Dedham resident said, in support of this special permit.

And while some supported the approval of this special permit, most were against it.

“I don’t think this is the right spot for it. We’re being closed in, we’re being suffocated.” another resident said during public comment.

This Dedham resident who didn’t want to show her face on camera says she’s not against helping people in crisis but she’s concerned about the negative impacts to her neighborhood.

“We’re surrounded by Legacy Place and businesses on the other side. That it just becomes a bigger business with traffic and trucks coming through.”

The Town of Dedham tells me that Giri Hotel Management will be able to continue to cook and serve food but only to their neighboring hotel residents.

There are currently 161 families, including newly arrived migrants living in two Dedham hotels, including the Inn Dedham.

Giri Hotel Management says they will start searching for a different facility.

Source: NBC10 BOSTON