Selling coffee to help people locally, globally |

Selling coffee to help people locally, globally

Two local churches are using coffee to support poverty-stricken foreign workers and those in need in their own backyards.

Members of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and the Lutheran Church of Grace are selling “fair trade” coffee, tea and cocoa products at this weekend’s Winter Arts and Crafts Show at Centennial Mall.

The profits will be donated to the Interfaith Food Bank in Craig.

“We wanted a project we can work on together,” said Church of Grace member Penny Krump. “We’d like to feel like we’re making a difference.”

A committee of adult and youth members of both churches, called the Outreach Focus Group, decided to sell fair-trade products from struggling countries worldwide.

“There’s so many people between (workers) and when the coffee gets into our cups,” Krump said. “(Workers) get so little of the profit.”

Organizations give farmers a fair price for products and then distribute them to those who wish to support the workers in need.

“What we’ve committed to at our church is to using the fair-trade products at church events,” Krump said.

The churches are holding a holiday tea event from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at St. Mark’s Witte Hall using the products on sale at the craft fair.

Krump said the church is planning events using other fair-trade products, such as jewelry and handmade crafts. At future events, the churches will split donations between Lutheran World Relief and Episcopal Relief and Development.

“They’re one of the first ones there — along with Catholic Relief Services — whenever there’s a hurricane or anything like that,” Krump said.

One main focus is including the youth members in these projects.

“We wanted to give them a chance to give back to the community, both locally and globally,” Krump said.

The youths cannot run the stand at the craft fair Friday because of school, but they will operate the booth Saturday.

“We found four very likable and very busy kids and they’ll be doing most of that,” St. Mark’s member Barbara Baker said.

The Winter Arts and Craft Show will run from noon to 7 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and will include a number of items, including the coffee, tea, and cocoa products sold by the churches for those in need.

“In our interest to reach out and do something and give something back, we want to think outside ourselves,” Krump said.

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