Gateway group sponsoring event about fair trade on Dec. 14 | TribLIVE.com
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Dillon Carr
Coffee beans.

A Gateway School District group will host a night of free coffee and learning about Fair Trade in December.

Gateway Interact Club will host the 15 th annual Coffee-for-a-Change event starting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at North American Martyrs Church in Monroeville, at 2526 Haymaker Road.

The purpose of the event, said Shawn Whelan, is to celebrate fair trade.

“Coffee is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world,” Whelan said, adding that coffee farmers in South and Central America, as well as Africa, suffer from poor trading conditions.

The event, he said, was created by a former Gateway student, Lauren Jacobson Spokane, in 2003 to raise money for fair trade organizations. This year, Whelan said he will sell coffee from Equal Exchange of Boston, and Building New Hope of Pittsburgh – both fair trade organizations that work with coffee farms around the world.

“We get our coffee from them and I sell it really cheap,” he said. “When you buy the coffee, you’re supporting cooperatives that these guys have set up.”

During the event, students will play live music and give speeches during its intermission, Whelan said.

Whelan said adults are encouraged to donate $3 to be a spectator and students are asked to donate $2. Coffee will be for sale in 12-ounce packs, both in whole-bean form or ground. It will be $8 for one pack, $15 for two packs and $21 for three packs.

“It’s fun. We’re helping the cause. Any coffee we sell, I also try to send an additional donation to the co-ops,” Whelan said.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

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