CafeSmart 2021, which ran from 2 to 8 August, has raised more than $169,000 which will be distributed to 96 community grants.
The annual event, organised by not-profit StreetSmart Australia, raises funds to support Australians affected by homelessness. 2021 saw 285 cafés and 45 coffee roasters take part, which the brand says is an incredible effort amidst lockdowns and difficult times for the industry and community.
The event’s fundraising champion was Goodies Takeaway café, led by Marie Chan. Together with her team and their customers’ support, the venue helped raise $2500 for Bridge It, a small start-up charity in St Kilda.
“As a new charity, supporting young women experiencing homelessness, we are relying on grants and donations to be able to operate,” says Carla Raynes, CEO of Bridge It.
“The funds we will receive from CafeSmart will support the two new residential programs we are opening in St Kilda. Creating homes for women is at the heart of what we aim to do at Bridge It and we couldn’t do this without the generous support. Thank you to all the cafes and supporters who made this possible.”
These localised CafeSmart Community Grants provide practical support for vulnerable people, whose current situations were either created or made worse by recent events.
“The latest lockdowns, rising rental costs, the end of welfare supplements, and unpredictable work have all impacted people’s lives and capacity to pay bills, put food on the table for their families and find affordable places to live,” says StreetSmart.
Community organisations, including Domestic Violence services, are all reporting increasing demand for their services, some by as much as 300 per cent.
“We are finding that there has been a significant increase in the number of clients accessing our services and we are also seeing an increase in families and younger people needing assistance, as the government COVID support decreases,” says Jeremy Maxwell from South Peninsula Community Information.
“For many of these clients, this is the first time that they have needed to access any type of support and as many other agencies are currently shut down due to COVID, it is very difficult for them to obtain any type of food or material aid in the area.”
The event was supported by coffee roasters such as Five Senses, Allpress, Single O, Locale Espresso, Padre, Yahava, Industry Beans and more, which helped CafeSmart connect to hundreds of cafes across all states and territories.
Across Australia, Victoria raised the most grants sitting at $60,500 followed by New South Wales at $44,000 and Queensland by $27,250.
The event was sponsored by Vitasoy, La Marzocco, Broadsheet and BeanScene, who all brought funding and networks to build our capacity to help more people this year.
“Thanks also to our partners who donated to match public donations including Yardi, La Marzocco, Australian Communities Foundation “Alf & Meg Steel Fund” sub fund and Australian Philanthropic Services,” says StreetSmart.
The second highest fundraising café was Told You So, who raised funds for Chameleon Regional Community Housing, and in third was Jake & the Beans Talk whose funds went towards the Avalon Centre.
“It’s always exciting bringing you the good news and the results of everyone efforts and hard work, and we can’t wait to do it all over again, ‘till CafeSmart 2022!” says StreetSmart.
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