Urban Cafe's  replicated the idea from Italian tradition
Urban Cafe's replicated the idea from Italian tradition Warren Lynam

Pay it forward idea takes off in Maroochy cafe

STARTING off as a quaint Italian tradition in the cafes of Naples, the idea of a 'suspended coffee' has taken root in a Maroochydore cafe.

Only three weeks ago, not-for-profit Urban Deli Cafe began their initiative, which enables people to purchase an extra beverage, burger or other menu item so another, less fortunate person can enjoy a hot drink or meal.

Manager Birgit Sowden said she wanted to give the community an opportunity to give back.

"Most people you walk past on the street want to contribute, they want to help other people,” she said.

"But often they don't know how.

"I like the idea of bringing the community together and, since it's such a small thing, it's easy for people to contribute.”

With scores of coloured stickers representing the suspended meals hanging on Urban Deli's wall, Ms Sowden said the plan was to host a picnic lunch for homeless and struggling residents in the new year.

"It's been amazing to see so many people wanting to hang up a suspended coffee or drink,” she said.

"I think it will really make these people's day.”

Run as a social enterprise by Integrated Family and Youth Services (IFYS), the cafe's profits feed into community programs which support disadvantaged people across the Coast, including homeless people and foster children.

In addition to funding these programs, the cafe provides work experience, mentoring and training to people of all abilities, and runs a community kitchen behind the shop-front.

"We have a favourite saying here, from Helen Keller,” Ms Sowden said.

"It's 'Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much'.”



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