By Rosalie Tirella
…. when it comes to its panhandlers and street folks, Boston is trying something innovative and compassionate. And way cool.
Ever hear of Panera Bread? We have a few of these bakery/coffee shop type franchises in the Worcester area. Well, it seems like Panera cares about the homeless because they have built several Panera Cares bakeries all over America. Including one in Boston, near city government, smack in the middle of bustling Boston. Panera Cares feeds EVERYBODY. Pay what you can, and if you can’t that’s Ok. You can still eat. Especially if you are hungry.
Very cool! This is why Boston is a first-tier city and Worcester is a third-tier city. It has so much to do with spirit, courage, the willingness to take big risks.
It works this way: It is a regular Panera Bread with all fresh soups and bakery items and beverages, including coffee. If you want to buy a loaf of bread, it is less expensive but also day-old, taken from other Panera Bread cafes/shops. Not bad, seeing most of the bread you buy at the supermarket is a day old and then some if you buy the packaged stuff that is trucked in.
So. How is Boston’s new Paneras Cares doing? How are America’s Panera Cares faring?
Quite well. There’s no class warfare g, oing on or panhandlers jumping the well off. Just a bunch of folks, Americans, eating lunch together. The middle class eat with the poor eat with the homeless. The folks who can pay full price for their lunches or snacks do. The folks who are short a buck or so pay what they can. Same for the homeless who eat with everyone else.
God bless Panera bread!
We mere mortals should pray for Worcester city council menbers and other city leaders so they too can grow hearts.