HIDDEN HEROES: Heart to Table providing over 7,000 meals to homeless

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) - Heart to Table has been feeding the homeless in Birmingham for the past three years.  Whenever the Boutwell Auditorium opens on particularly cold nights, a collection of local restaurants and businesses team up to make sure that the people who spend the evening there have something warm to eat. 

"The restaurants are investing so much to make sure that the homeless are fed, just like their own customers, and that's the angle," explained Marco Morosini, who has owned the Silvertron Cafe for more than 10 years.

Heart to Table is Morosini's brain child.  It all started in a study group for Leadership Birmingham, where the group had to create and present a project by the end of the year.  "We now have 23 locally-owned restaurants," he said.  "We have companies like Royal Cup that has coffee every single time.  Shipt, the app, that brings food to the house that provides the protein bars or the cereal bars to the homeless every night."

In the first two years, combined, Morosini said Heart to Table prepared a little over 5,000 meals.  This winter, alone, they increased the number to 7,100 meals.  Morosini said without the help of the city--Don Lupo with the Office of Citizen's Assistance, in particular--the project wouldn't be possible. 

He encourages the public to patronize the restaurants that participate in Heart to Table as a means of supporting their charitable work.  "I think this is where you turn around and you truly see the payback," he explained.  "It makes you feel good when you hear, thank you for what you're doing.  God bless you."  He is also encouraging citizens to follow and share the Heart to Table facebook page.

As for what's next for Heart to Table, Morosini isn't sure.  Now that the weather is heating up, the needs at the Boutwell have slowed down.  This winter they expanded to serve another shelter in the Woodlawn community.  He's also been approached by someone out of Montgomery who is interested in starting something similar in their community. 

"Being able to actually see it--when you provide the comfort food that the people would probably never even have access to, otherwise;" he explained,"providing food that you and I would eat to people that can't walk into a restaurant and sit down and order."

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