Staten Island pizzeria faces criticism for feeding migrants

A pizzeria owner on Staten Island is receiving some criticism, but also support, for offering to feed migrants.

Migrants being housed at a nearby hotel have been showing up at Verde's Pizza and Pasta House in the West Shore neighborhood of Travis.

Owner Sebastian Bongiovanni has been feeding some of them after they started showing up 10 days ago.

"They said they hadn't eaten in three days and when we fed them, they ate like they hadn't eaten in three days," Bongiovanni said.

He says he has received phone calls from people telling him to direct his charity elsewhere.  The arrival of the migrants has divided the neighborhood, which overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump in the past two presidential elections.

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Bongiovanni said, "We're Republican, and we feel there should be a border and we should, you know, there should be an orderly way.... A lot of people feel these, these migrants are overstepping the line, jumping the line, and I totally get that.... I'm Catholic first and, you know, listen, if I can help people, I will."

Along with offering some food to people who show up in his shop, he's been delivering pizzas to the hotel after some people donated money to help the cause.

Verde's is new to the neighborhood after opening in September.

Bongiovanni is not alone in helping the migrants at the hotel.  

Alison Brettschnider has been showing up with bags of clothing and taking mothers to a nearby Target to help them buy more.  She's using her own money.

"I'm just a mother and I would want someone to do it for my children," Brettschnider says.  "A lot of people are trying to make it political. It's not.  It's about humanity."