By Donna Cornelius
This winter, cold nights will be a little warmer for Birmingham folks in need thanks to Royal Cup Coffee and Tea.
The company has been a supporter of Heart to Table, a warming station at Boutwell Auditorium that opens its doors on the coldest nights of the year. The charity is run by Don Lupo, director of the Birmingham Mayor’s Office of Citizens Assistance, and a small group of Birmingham restaurant owners.
Royal Cup already was providing hot coffee and condiments for Heart to Table. This year, the company increased its support by donating proceeds from the sale of its cold products at Sloss Fest. The two-day music and lifestyle event was held July 15 and 16.
“We sold cold brew coffee, sweet tea, and flavored sweet tea,” said C.J. Britton, Royal Cup’s director of creative services. “The response from those who attended Sloss Fest was fantastic. We told people what we were donating our proceeds to, and they were enthusiastic. Some even gave $100 donations.”
Britton said Royal Cup believes in supporting community charities.
“With all the positive things going on in Birmingham, it’s easy to forget that there are people out there who don’t have enough food,” he said. “As the city grows and we get more accolades, we need to all step forward to make sure we’re not just growing one part of our city or serving one segment of the population.”
The company donated $3,000 from its Sloss Fest proceeds to Heart to Table. The money will help cover 10 nights of meals for those who seek shelter at Boutwell this winter.
Marco Morosini, owner of Birmingham’s Silvertron Café, and his Leadership Birmingham study group created Heart to Table to help solve a problem the city faces every year. While cots and blankets could be provided, there were no funds to feed those who need a warm place for the night. With Leadership Birmingham’s help, several restaurants across the city formed a collective group Lupo could contact to provide food. This group became Heart to Table.
“The Heart to Table program is grateful and honored to receive Royal Cup’s proceeds from their sales at Sloss Fest this year,” said Morosini, Heart to Table director. “It is only by coming together that we can solve our city’s problems. Royal Cup has been an invaluable partner for the past several years – ensuring the homeless always have a hot drink to ward off a cold day. With this new donation, we will be able to do so much more.”
Lupo said support from Leadership Birmingham and companies such as Royal Cup have enabled the warming station to operate.
“For years, every time the cold came, we had to worry where the food for sometimes in excess of 300 people would come from,” Lupo said. “Then we’d beg. Thankfully, Leadership Birmingham stepped up and adopted the Boutwell warming station. They established the Heart to Table program and solicited businesses and restaurants to help out. Two years into the program, we now have a long list of willing businesses and restaurants.”
Royal Cup was one of the first businesses to sign on and offer its help, he said.
“Royal Cup has been one of our most ardent supporters,” Lupo said. “With this donation of $3,000, we know at least 10 cold nights are taken care of. No worries. No begging.”
For more information, follow “Heart to Table” on Facebook.