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Fighting Homelessness Through Coffee with Georgia Samuel - Famished

Georgia Samuel is fighting homelessness through CafeSmart. As one of Melbourne's top contributors to CafeSmart, we wanted to find out the motivations that lead to this amazing effort.

What do you think others in the hospitality industry can learn from the your example in promoting and supporting CafeSmart?

This is such an important day that we try to increase coffee sales as much as possible to ensure we can give the greatest donation possible. We do this by encouraging everyone, not just our regulars, to come in a second or a third time that day, where they may otherwise not.

The best way to do it is to make it appealing and noticeable and not just like an average day. We put balloons out the front, all the staff get dressed up and, in keeping with the CafeSmart theme, we have yellow everywhere. The idea is to encourage people to go ‘maybe I’ll go in there and check out what’s going on’. Social Media is a big one as well, get it all over social media.

Why should people care about cafesmart?

We’re not all born into privileged families, we’re not all born into a world where we have the opportunity to work and to go home to our comfy homes. There are a lot of people out there living on the streets, who are not fortunate enough to have food and coffee. We can sometimes take our morning coffee for granted.

CafeSmart is one way you can help support this terrible reality. It is a structured, reliable and supported event that helps you help someone else.

Where do you see your role in this whole effort?

From the day I opened the first Famish’d store, I decided that Famish’d would support this important cause by donating some of the proceeds from that day to this cause. For some hospitality businesses it is hard to say ‘ok we’re going to take a cut off what we’re making and hand it over’. But it’s so important.

My role is also to educate my staff about why we’re doing it. Educate them to try and push the coffees because every sale is another dollar donation. Also, educating any colleagues I know within the hospitality industry and explaining to them why I think they should get on board.

What role do you see the community playing in solving homelessness?

I think the community could do a lot more than they do. But I also think there is a lack of education around how bad it is and how big of a problem it is in Australia and across the World. People ignore it because they don’t know much about it.

Whereas if you go through a channel like CafeSmart you’re actually going to raise awareness as well as hopefully try and help these people.

Who do you think has a part to play in making homelessness a thing of the past?

Certainly the government has a part to play. There’s no question. We all pay our taxes. But also with the community, if we want to free people from living on the street then every single person is responsible.

What would you say to cafe owners or roasters who are thinking about joining cafesmart?

It’s a no-brainer. You trade for up to 365 days a year. Surely you can donate one portion of a day of only your coffee sales towards something that’s just so important.

You won’t regret it as you’re not only helping a good cause, but educating all of your staff and customers about an important cause, all by doing exactly what you do on a normal trading day.

Find a CafeSmart Cafe through Ping here (iPhone only) Ping has partnered with CafeSmart this year to make finding a CafeSmart cafe easy. 3 Steps in fact.