SHASTA LAKE, Calif. -

Heritage Roasting Company in Shasta Lake started a new program called Love in a Cup. Customers can donate money to a jar that pays for coffee for the less fortunate. It came from an old Italian tradition called suspended coffee. Suspended coffee is a drink, already paid for, that is available for someone who can't afford it.

"Cafes would have, people would come in and order a drink then put a suspended coffee and so someone else who couldn't afford a coffee would come in and ask if there are any suspended coffees," said Sara Sutherland, manager at Heritage Roasting Company.

All someone has to do is come into the shop on Shasta Dam Boulevard and ask if there are any suspended coffees. The fund from the Love in a Cup jar is used to pay for whatever drink the recipient wants.

The name of the project was inspired by latte art. The coffee shop is famous for hearts poured on top of their drinks.

"After awhile, it was just like 'it's kinda like love in a cup'. Just you know, serving love and then connecting that idea to having a heart in your cup with giving someone a coffee." Sutherland said.

Sutherland said while coffee isn't a meal, it's something special and extra for those less fortunate.

The unique part of Love in a Cup is that it goes beyond just buying someone a cup of coffee. Employees and customers are able to form relationships and have conversations with recipients of Love in a Cup.

"What's cool about Heritage is that we're a place where people, on purpose, are able to slow down and able to have conversations and have relationships, so that's kinda the bigger part of love in a cup, it's not just the coffee but the relationship behind it," said Sutherland.