The recently dubbed Patreon nonprofit expands relief for hourly coffee workers.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
If daily news outlets haven’t already reminded you enough, we’re not out of this thing yet. Cities in the United States and across the world are beginning to experience the winter waves of COVID-19. If you’re an hourly coffee worker who is worried about your job security or unemployment insecurity—don’t worry, Go Fund Bean has your back.
Go Fund Bean, thanks to donations by Seattle Coffee Gear and Torani, will be distributing 24 grants of $500 to coffee professionals experiencing hardship, totaling $12,000 in aid. Applications opened last week, and recipients will be picked by the Go Fund Bean board based on immediate financial need, prioritizing those whose housing situation is at risk. Applications close on Sunday, November 15, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. You can apply for a grant here.
In the past several months, the Go Fund Bean team has expanded into an empire of altruism, from a Patreon community to its original concept of virtual tip jars and barista relief grants too. “It feels incredibly validating that people are really responding to the ideas that we have, and we’re really excited to do a lot more to help the hourly coffee professional,” says Go Fund Bean founder Adam JacksonBey. “It’s a great thing to have a vision of things you can do and how to help, and to find the right partners at the right time to have that vision realized.”
In partnership with JNP Coffee earlier this year, Go Fund Bean donated $9,000 of aid to coffee professionals. Most of them have since used the money to fulfill essential needs like housing and buying groceries. One recipient of a grant, Sydney Manay, says, “I used the money to pay for rent! My rent includes my art studio for my design work and a safe place for my cats and I to stay warm for the cold winters of Minneapolis, especially since the café I worked for is remaining closed until it’s absolutely safe.”
“I will also say that it is really heartbreaking that this is something that folks still need,” says Adam. “There are working coffee professionals who still need these grants, so my overall feeling about this is bittersweet at best.”
Go Fund Bean is only growing from here. In addition to these grants, the group has several projects underway that are going to continue to benefit baristas. The Patreon they started currently offers a newsletter publication called Calibration Notes, which discusses topics not often talked about in the coffee industry.
They’re also working on a barista resource guide, a mentor program, and a webinar series on more practical elements of the coffee industry. “Our first class is going to be about the psychology of spending money and how to align your spending with your values and dreams to better enable you to save up for stuff that will actually make you feel fulfilled, whether that’s buying a new grinder or opening a coffee shop,” explains Valorie Clark, board member at Go Fund Bean. The webinar was just announced on October 29.
As Go Fund Bean continues to be a reliable and safe resource for support during COVID-19, stay tuned for the exciting projects ahead.