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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Working Towards Solutions For World Hunger

    Think about how much coffee you drink, that cup you take to class, and that midday pick-me-up. What we may not realize in all this, is the current situation behind the growth and manufacturing of coffee beans and the hardship placed on the farmers in the process.

    Companies like Nestl’eacute; and Sara Lee receive coffee beans from large suppliers such as Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world.

    Farmers who harvest the coffee are given very little compensation for their labor. In response to the unfair treatment of coffee farmers, advocacy groups such as Oxfam are raising awareness of unequal trade.

    According to their web site, “Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Together with individuals and local groups in more than 120 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice.”

    Recently during a Leadership and Service (LDS) class, taught by Professor Manuel London, students brainstormed for ideas to help out the community.

    The class, “Solving World Hunger,” came up with the idea of working towards fair compensation of farmers by promoting the sale of fair trade coffee at Stony Brook University. For every cup of fair trade coffee that students buy during the selected two weeks from Feb. 25 to Mar. 7, the Faculty Student Association has agreed to contribute five cents to Oxfam to be donated to coffee farmers.

    The main idea of this project is to enlighten and inform students on the issues going on in today’s world. The message being promoted to the student body is that one should continually buy fair trade coffee, even after the special two week period and further contribute to the cause in his or her own way.

    The Seawolves Marketplace, Union Deli, Kelly Coffee and Tea House, and Tabler Caf’eacute; will all offer fair trade coffee upon request.

    For every student that buys coffee in the Union Deli and Seawolves Marketplace, the cashier will ask if they are purchasing “fair trade” coffee. Each location will keep a record of coffee sales which will be tallied up. Each donation will then be given to Oxfam for the fair trade cause.

    Please consider participating in this worthwhile cause while still getting your coffee fix throughout the week!

    Sonia Kaczmarzyk and Lisa Milano contributed reporting.

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