Brooklyn coffee shop adds food pantry to help customers during pandemic

A coffee shop in Brooklyn is helping people stay caffeinated during the pandemic and making sure they don't go hungry, transforming part of their business into a food pantry.

News 12 Staff

Apr 30, 2020, 11:06 AM

Updated 1,483 days ago

Share:

A coffee shop in Brooklyn is helping people stay caffeinated during the pandemic and making sure they don't go hungry, transforming part of their business into a food pantry.
When the pandemic struck, Patricia Manwaring knew her coffee shop needed to do something to help customers who were losing their jobs and homes.
She says she wanted to help by feeding them.
"The virus is already claiming too many lives, we can't allow hunger to claim [lives] anymore," says Manwaring, owner of Roots Cafe.
The sign outside Roots Cafe says they're offering free soups and sandwiches, but that's actually just a small part of what they're doing for the community.
"You could have a free soup and a free sandwich, and then shop the pantry for free," says Manwaring.
Roots Cafe has also become a food pantry for anyone who needs it. They offer canned foods, pasta, fruits, vegetables and toiletries.
PHOTOS: Your Hometown Heroes 
undefined
"We couldn't do it without the community standing with us. We started this with empty tables," says Manwaring.
Volunteers and donations have poured in from the neighborhood, and much of the funding for the food has come through their GoFundMe and Amazon Wishlist.
"A lot of people come in on Sundays and pick up and say they can make it almost a whole week from what they've gotten," says Guinevere McMichael, food pantry coordinator.
Volunteers are also delivering pantry items to people who can't leave their homes to come to the shop.
"It means so much to me to be able to be someone who helps provide for people," says McMichael.
Roots Cafe says they want to expand their deliveries, but need more funding and volunteers.


More from News 12
2:02
STORM WATCH: Thunderstorms likely for Thursday followed by more summer-like heat

STORM WATCH: Thunderstorms likely for Thursday followed by more summer-like heat

1:52
Crotona Park prepares to host Donald Trump in historic rally

Crotona Park prepares to host Donald Trump in historic rally

0:45
Charter school fires teacher who had inappropriate relations with student

Charter school fires teacher who had inappropriate relations with student

1:51
NYPD hopes to reduce number of shootings by spreading gun violence awareness

NYPD hopes to reduce number of shootings by spreading gun violence awareness

1:52
Public elementary school starts program in effort to prioritize student mental health

Public elementary school starts program in effort to prioritize student mental health

2:07
Officials begin enforcing new time limit rules on asylum seekers in NYC shelters

Officials begin enforcing new time limit rules on asylum seekers in NYC shelters

0:53
Mayor Adams' office responds to FBI investigation

Mayor Adams' office responds to FBI investigation

1:51
Orchard Beach set to open for swimming amid lifeguard shortages as Memorial Day weekend nears

Orchard Beach set to open for swimming amid lifeguard shortages as Memorial Day weekend nears

0:43
36th Fleet Week kicks off in NYC with Salute to Ships at Fort Hamilton

36th Fleet Week kicks off in NYC with Salute to Ships at Fort Hamilton

0:52
Bronx high school students meet with engineering nonprofit in special lab day

Bronx high school students meet with engineering nonprofit in special lab day

1:42
NYPD: Moped driver critically injured in crash into 46-year-old woman on Grand Concourse

NYPD: Moped driver critically injured in crash into 46-year-old woman on Grand Concourse

0:19
Authorities arrest Bronx man in fatal Washington Heights stabbing

Authorities arrest Bronx man in fatal Washington Heights stabbing

1:55
UA Local 1 to offer 5-year paid apprentice program for plumbers for 1st time in 2 years

UA Local 1 to offer 5-year paid apprentice program for plumbers for 1st time in 2 years

0:21
NYPD: 2 men wanted breaking into Taco Bell in South Bronx, stealing $500

NYPD: 2 men wanted breaking into Taco Bell in South Bronx, stealing $500

0:22
Police: Woman wanted for pepper spraying Bronx bus driver

Police: Woman wanted for pepper spraying Bronx bus driver

2:42
Garden Guide: This is why you should grow Geraniums this summer

Garden Guide: This is why you should grow Geraniums this summer

0:14
Search on for missing 80-year-old last seen on Melrose Avenue on Monday

Search on for missing 80-year-old last seen on Melrose Avenue on Monday

1:46
FDNY: Commercial strip fire extinguished in Wakefield; 4 firefighters with minor injuries

FDNY: Commercial strip fire extinguished in Wakefield; 4 firefighters with minor injuries

1:05
Nurse practitioner offers tips to decrease high blood pressure during High Blood Pressure Education Month

Nurse practitioner offers tips to decrease high blood pressure during High Blood Pressure Education Month

Power & Politics: Ask Mayor Eric Adams

Power & Politics: Ask Mayor Eric Adams