Everyday, the StreetSmart family of community projects, supporting partners, and everyday people are out there making life a little easier for the more than 644,000 people who go hungry every month, and 105,000 of those who do not have a safe place to call home.
John and Steph are Makers Fine Coffee, a budding speciality roaster based in inner East Melbourne. We got to know Steph and John in their previous lives running a café in Kew. They were early supporters CaféSmart, and are now spreading the love as a Roaster Partner.
I caught Steph for a chat in their sleek premises to talk coffee, community and impact. Like many of our Roasting Partners, the Makers’ passion for coffee goes hand in hand with passion for community. Stretching from growing countries, to the local roastery and the people in the local area.
“The community focus of CaféSmart translates in a visible way to the locality, and it makes complete sense for us as a business to support good work happening in our area.”
And that local impact is very tangible. Just a short hop from their premises is FareShare, a food recue organisation that turns surplus food bound for landfill into nutritious hot meals that are distributed to charities all over Melbourne.
The food rescue model has been something StreetSmart has supported through its early days. With billions of dollars of food waste going into landfill every year, and 2 million people going without – supporting food rescue is a no brainer for us.
Volunteers in the FareShare kitchen
Following the CaféSmart bread crumbs, I popped into meet with FareShare and one of our supporting partners, Jets from La Marzocco, who have their office near by. While Makers donations have found their way down the road, Jets decided to take time out from the office to volunteer.
“Through CaféSmart we became really interested in where the money was going. We discovered that FareShare was just around the corner, and started volunteering on a regular basis. As partners our funds indirectly support FareShare, and I was curious to do more.
I was aware of the shifts in the economy, with movements in manufacturing and job losses, so this was a story that I could connect to. Food security goes beyond the rough sleepers you see on the streets – there is an invisible crisis unfolding and I felt I wanted to be part of the solution. CaféSmart kind of lead me there.”
It is sometimes overwhelming to think of the scale of the homelessness issue, and what is needed to address it. Drastic government reform, mass investment in social housing stock, radical shifts in how we deal with our food waste – the road ahead is long and hard. But while we wage the war, every day small battles are won in our local communities.
A roaster, a sponsor, a food rescue service, and thousands of lives positively changed. Every one of these good news stories matter, and are worth celebrating.
If you are coffee roaster, and would like to join our quiet community revolution you can get in touch with us here.
If you’re a café, and want shake up some positive change for your locals, you can sign up here.