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The Daily Tar Heel

The Meantime donating profits to Australian bushfire relief efforts

John Vance, a junior at UNC and barista at the student-run Meantime Coffee Company, helps a customer select a pastry in the Campus Y on Thursday, Jan 16, 2020. 100% of profits from Meantime are going to help the wildfire crisis in Australia.

As bushfires rage on in Australia, already having devastated millions of hectares of land, students in Chapel Hill are using coffee and baked goods to do what they can to help.

The Meantime Coffee Co., the student-run coffee shop located in the Campus Y, is giving all of this week's profits to the Australia Wildfire Fund to support relief efforts.

Dhvani Bhatia, the chief marketing officer at The Meantime, said the decision to donate the profits was an easy one to make.

“As a company, our mission is always to give back to the community,” Bhatia said. “We do that anyway because with our donation structure, we give back to the Campus Y and through other community initiatives. So we decided to do this for this week because we wanted to be able to contribute beyond our community, especially to a place that definitely needs it.”

The fire season in Australia began late July 2019, and over the past months, the conditions have killed at least 28 people, destroyed or damaged over 3,000 homes and likely killed millions of animals.

The Australia Wildfire Fund is using donations to help local firefighting, support affected communities, rescue wildlife and implement plans to restore affected ecosystems and avoid future wildfires.

Though she isn’t sure how much money The Meantime has raised so fair, Bhatia said the week has been busier than most. She said the company conservatively expects to donate about $3,000. 

“I think we’ll be giving a sizable amount and hopefully an impactful amount whenever we donate after tomorrow (Friday),” Bhatia said.

Senior Sierra Weight said she feels good purchasing from The Meantime knowing that it's supporting this cause.

“When we were deciding where to meet, I mentioned the fact that like, ‘Oh, I saw a sign outside of Meantime that they were giving their profits to the Australian bushfires, so we should go there,’” Weight said.

Senior Jessica Lynch said she thinks that everyone should help as much as they can and that this is a good way to do it.

“It’s good to know places on campus and UNC itself are interested in making a difference across the world and helping out where they can,” Lynch said.

The Meantime’s other community-based efforts include reinvesting profits into student scholarships and grants and by working with local businesses and other student food ventures.

Bhatia said customers have responded well over the past week and are generally supportive of their efforts for the community.

“DTH readers, come grab a cup of coffee because their proceeds are going to a good place,” Bhatia said.

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