Patrons of a popular local eatery are expressing their outrage on Facebook after the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department shut down the sale of donuts to raise money for autism.
The donuts were being made by special education students at Wheeling Park High School, in a home economics kitchen. They were being sold to raise money for Autism Speaks at Later Alligator, located in Centre Market.
The restaurant notified its followers on Facebook that it was told to stop selling the donuts after they were reported to the health department.
County health officials say their rules are in place for a reason, and a business with a food permit can't accept food from something that is not permitted or licensed.
"It's unfortunate, but we just notify them you can't accept food from that source," said Howard Gamble, director of the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department. "You may want to try a different one from a different avenue, but unfortunately where the food was being produced was for educational purposes only and it shouldn't have been used for, or sold or retailed even for a benefit to the public."
In the past, the restaurant has raised about $500 for Autism Speaks each year for the past three years, selling the donuts each Monday during the month of April. A donation jar for the organization stays out at the store all year long.
The owner of Later Alligator said this particular project is close to her heart, and she hopes something can be worked out soon so they can continue raising money for the organization.
For now, anyone looking to donate can drop off monetary donations to the restaurant in Centre Market.