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CafeSmart

Local People Fight to End Homelessness

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We are one month away from CafeSmart – one of the biggest campaigns in the StreetSmart calendar. Behind the scenes, our Sponsors, Roasting Partners, and participating cafes are gearing up to raise funds for homeless services in their local area. Amid the madness that goes into the campaign, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on why it matters.

Homelessness is complex, and its impacts are far reaching. Read More

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A Roaster, a Sponsor, a Food Rescue Service, & Thousands of Lives Changed.

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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.

John and Stef at Maker

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.

 

 

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Coffee People Helping their Hood

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Single-O on CafeSmart campaign day

The StreetSmart concept began in London when one restaurant owner wanted to help a group of young people rough sleeping near by to her premises. She started to collect donations from her customers, so they could buy bedding and warm clothes. Local people helping local people, the idea was as simple as that.

That one small act of kindness in a local London restaurant evolved into StreetSmart – an organisation powered to crowd source donations from for local impact.

In Australia there are over one hundred thousand people without a safe place to call home. Seeing the potential of StreetSmart to make a dent in that statistic, Adam Robinson founded StreetSmart Australia.

A ReaL MeaL – Melbourne mobile soup kitchen

With such a strong café culture, StreetSmart Australia found a natural alliance with the coffee roasting industry and the neighbourhood café. With their support, one of our major initiatives today is  CaféSmart – a single day of fundraising that unites coffee lovers to help end homelessness.

In six short years CaféSmart has raised over six hundred thousand dollars, and supported hundreds of grassroots organisations that are changing lives.

When we take half an hour from our work day to enjoy a cup of coffee, we might not connect a micro business in Rwanda or a women’s shelter in our local area – but boutique coffee roasters are proving that business can do good in lots of unexpected ways.

Dion and Emma of Single-O

Single O are one of the darlings of boutique coffee culture in Sydney, and they are shunning the faceless blends and unfair trading practices to create a premium product with a face, and a story to tell. For Emma and Dion at Single O in Sydney, good coffee and impact go hand in hand –

“It’s in our blueprint to look at the ways we can impact positively. From fair sourcing, to environmental practices – right down to the neighbourhood café – we are constantly exploring ways to have a positive impact.”

When StreetSmart started to branch out from it’s Melbourne base into NSW, Single O where one of our first roasters to jump on board. As their wholesaler customer list has grown, they have mobilised their cafes with them.

With the Single O teams’ support, CaféSmart grants have been able to fund services that support women fleeing domestic violence, and asylum seekers who don’t qualify for the social safety net many of us take for granted.

Five Senses’ story is not too different. Founder Dean Gallagher took a trip to Papua New Guinea that would become a lasting relationship with a growing community there. As the business took off, impacting people positively across the supply chain became part of day-to-day.

Ben Bicknell is a well known face in the coffee community, and is one of the driving forces behind Five Senses’ local impact initiatives.

Ben Bicknell, Five Senses

“From investing in growing communities, through to raising funds for grassroots projects that support the homeless through CaféSmart here in Australia –  it’s interesting to keep thinking about how we can coalesce our impact through the supply chain – from the farm gate to the neighbourhood café.”

Although Five Senses are able to mobilise impressive amounts of donations on the day, Ben is keen to do more.

“CaféSmart happens once a year, and the impact from that one day is huge. I want to explore how we can reach more people, and get others engaged around the issue of homelessness.”

The funds mobilised by Five Senses support local programs like Second Bite, which reclaims food that would go to waste and distributes it to community food programs. Five Senses also donate their surplus to the program, because as Ben says, “everyone deserves the joy that a good cup of coffee brings.”

Single O and Five Senses are just two inspiring examples of businesses doing good, and part of StreetSmarts’ growing network of roasters and cafés getting behind local initiatives to end homelessness.

When we look back to that one restaurant owner who wanted to help people in her neighbourhood – it is incredible to think just how far that simple act of kindness travelled, and how many lives it changed.

 

CaféSmart takes place on August 4 in cafés all across Australia. 

To become a CafeSmart Roaster Partner check info here
You can check out participating cafes, and view funded projects on our map here
We will be publishing this years’ participating locals from mid-June onwards. 

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CafeSmart & Collective fund 118 Community Projects

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On August 5th, 549 cafes, 42 coffee roasters and sponsors, and thousands of coffee drinkers took part in CafeSmart 2016 and helped raise $160,523 to fund local grassroots homeless projects.  For every coffee sold, cafes donated $1, coffee roasters supplied beans and customers chipped in. An amazing effort and a record year.

100% of these funds have now been combined with substantial funds raised through our new StreetSmart Collective initiative and other one off gifts for a total of $223,000 distributed to support 118 community grants.

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CafeSmart 2015 funds 132 Community Projects

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151125-SSA-Cafesmart-132-Community-Grant¹s-2015----facebook-post-yellow_D1On August 7th, 491 cafes, 27 coffee roasters and thousands of coffee drinkers helped raise $135,612 to fund local grassroots homeless projects.  For every coffee sold, cafes donated $1, coffee roasters supplied beans and customers chipped in.

Across Australia, coffee heads came together to effect change in their local communities.  100% of the funds raised by CafeSmart combined with other funds raised by StreetSmart have now been allocated through 132 Community Grants totaling $151,800.  Grants target helping people who are homeless or at risk in communities where cafes have raised the funds.

Adam Robinson CEO of StreetSmart Australia said “Having over 500 small businesses involved and engaged during National Homeless Prevention Week, not only raised vital funds but also created great awareness around the issue of homelessness and what people can do to help.  Yet again the coffee industry has shown how generous and community minded they are.  The funding raised goes to some of our smallest, yet vital, community groups and not for profits, who have seen funding stripped out of the sector.”

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CafeSmart raises $135,612

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150985-SSA-CafeSmart-2015-Thanks-Facebook-Image-FINALThe results are in… and we drank coffee and did good!

On 7th August 491 cafes participated in CafeSmart 2015 to make it our biggest yet and huge success. Generous Cafe partners donated $1 per coffee sold on the day, supported by a list of top coffee roasters, sponsors and generous customers who also chipped in.  Last years $120,000 tally has been beaten – and $135,612 was raised on the day!  We applaud  and thank everyone who got involved, sponsored and donated, and make special mention of our top fundraisers and Award winners.

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CafeSmart Photo Comp Winners

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During CafeSmart each year we ask supporters to help raise awareness through social media. By taking a photo using our CafeSmart logo as inspiration and hash tagging it #CafeSmart supporters were entered into our photo competition. We had some awesome prizes offered up by 5Senses Coffee, Crumpler and Joco Cups.

photo comp 1stCafe BuReunion Cafe

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