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Coffee shop owners go above and beyond to keep seniors from going hungry

Forced to put their business aside, Tatu and Emilie Herrera are now putting their neighbors first.

SAN ANTONIO — Traffic is busy as usual in front of Folklores Coffee House, yet no one stops to go inside. Folklores is one of many businesses closed up, for now, by the impact of the novel coronavirus.

For the last three weeks, Owners Tatu and Emilie Herrera haven't made any money. But they have spent a ton.

"Easily $10,000," Tatu said. "We try to not think too much about the money part. We really need to be mindful of our neighbors."

Keeping what they say their grandparents taught them in mind, the couple couldn't rest knowing some seniors who are stuck inside their homes may be going hungry.

"That's what we're here for," Emilie said. "We're doing this because we know no one else will do it."

They took it upon themselves to take action, beginning by putting a call out on Facebook to find out who was in need. Right now, they're serving about 200 seniors.

"We posted on social media and real quick people would respond, 'My aunt this, my neighbor down here,'" Tatu said.

Dipping into their own savings, they started buying food for their neighbors. It started off with daily deliveries of rice and beans. 

Starting this week, though, they're dropping off survival kits packed with fruits, veggies and snacks. They plan to drop these off every two or three days.

"For many, our meal is the only one they eat all day. One lady told us she only has a slice of bread with jelly a day," Tatu said. "So we figured, 'Let's buy a lot of produce, put it in bags and they could use that for a couple of days.'"

Tatu and Emilie don't consider themselves Good Samaritans. They said they're just doing what they feel is right.

"If we don’t do the right thing now, it’ll eat at us," Tatu said.

Two business owners who have put business aside, Tatu and Emilie have no regrets.

"We just hope that God will provide," Emilie said. "If you want to help, just do it! What's stopping you from being a good person? Just take care of each other, love each other."

Tatu and Emilie have a handful of drivers who help them make deliveries, but they're looking for more people to volunteer. They also started a GoFundMe to cover the cost of food. People have already donated more than $6,000.

If you'd like to become a driver or help in another way, you can contact Folklores Coffee House at (210) 455-7829.

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