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5 Things You Didn’t Know about SUGAR

  1. The avg. American consumes 66 lbs of sugar/yr.

  2. Sugar trades below production cost.

  3. Child & forced labor in the sugarcane industry is known to take place in at least 19 countries.

  4. The U.S. imports most of its sugarcane from Mexico, Brazil, and Guatemala, all are known to use forced and/or child labor. 

  5. Although Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and UTZ are not flawless, certification does mean your sugar will be more ethical.


Conscious Sugar Options:

  • Wholesome Sugar (Fair Trade)

  • Tate & Lyle (Fair Trade) 

  • Florida Crystals (U.S.) 

  • Bob’s Red Mill (U.S.)

Candy and sweetened products that use Conscious Sugar:

  • UnReal (Fair Trade) 

  • Little Secrets (Fair Trade)

  • Wholesome (Fair Trade)

  • Chau Chocolate (Fair Trade)

  • Many Fair Trade Chocolate Bars also use Fair Trade Sugar

Soda: Maine Root (Fair Trade) - Now available at The Freedom Café!

Iced Tea: Honest Tea (Fair Trade)

Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry’s (Fair Trade)

*Throughout the fall, research volunteer, Jenn Gallagher has been compiling information about the sugarcane industry. We are looking forward to bringing more of Jenn's work to our community as a part of our conscious consumer materials.

NE GIFT Box - Pumpkin Festival 2018

GB VolTeam Laconia 2018.jpg

Despite rain during parts of Pumpkin Fest, our GIFT Box Team shared resources with over 125 people and had important conversations with 71 guests during the two day event. Thank you again to The NH Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force for hosting and to the many sponsors and volunteers who made this event possible. 

Plymouth State University
Love146 New Hampshire Volunteer Team
AutoServ of Laconia
Donna Gaudet Hosmer
Turning Point Christian Fellowship
Navigating Recovery of Lakes Region

And the UNH and Laconia Police Departments for their help transporting and constructing the 1250 lb exhibit 

Freedom Masquerade 2018


Over 100 guest, 20 volunteers, 5 host sponsors and 53 local business donors helped us raise $13,000 to support our mission to END human trafficking! 

Funds from the event & silent auction support our annual programing budget allowing The Freedom Café to host weekly educational programs, professional trainings, supply chain and conscious consumer research, large-scale awareness campaigns in collaboration with the United Nations GIFT Box, and the ongoing training of volunteers to empower personal and vocational action to END human trafficking.  

Save the date for next years event on October 19, 2019!

Friend of Freedom Café Releases CD - Proceeds Support Café Mission on 8/31/18

Guest Post by Local Musician, Dave Howland

As many of you already know, the Freedom Cafe is a wonderful and nurturing home for local musicians to share their art. Over the past several years, Bryan, Hannah and their hard-working volunteers have brought the community together in so many constructive ways around a critical cause: building awareness about and fighting the scourge of human trafficking. 

I’m writing to share with you a small way that I hope to give back to the Cafe this month with some help from you. 

On Friday, August 31st, I’ll be releasing my first album and playing a show at the Stone Church in Newmarket. I’m going to bring 50 copies of my new CD and will give the proceeds from selling these ($500, if we can sell each of the $10 CDs) to the Cafe. The show starts at 8 p.m. It’s all ages and tickets – to help support my fellow musicians and the sound man – are available online here

If you’d like to know what you’re getting into musically, you can find some of my music and a little backyard promo video on my website: davehowlandmusic.com. It’s going to be a fun night to share a new collection of music: songs shaped in large part by the love and encouragement I’ve experienced on the stage at the Freedom Cafe – my musical home in Durham.

With Cheers and Best Wishes,

"What can I do to stop this?"

The first time I learned about human trafficking, my immediate reactio    n was to ask "What can I do to stop this?"

The first time I learned about human trafficking, my immediate reaction was to ask "What can I do to stop this?"

by Theresa Trombley, LCSW

In last month's newsletter, you read about human trafficking that is happening here, in the US, in our own backyard. The first time I learned about human trafficking, my immediate reaction was to ask "What can I do to stop this?" I was in high school at the time, so my resources were limited, but I began to ask questions and learn more about the realities of human trafficking and about what I could do to contribute to a solution.

As time went on, I decided that I wanted to become a social worker. Once I finished school, I started working in a community mental health agency, where I was also given the opportunity to become certified in Primary Care Behavioral Health, and began working in the local community health center. As I became familiar with working in a medical practice, I noticed the connection that many of the patients had to their primary care doctors and the other staff. It was evident that the primary care setting provided unique opportunities for the staff to interact with patients on an individual, personal level.

Medical professionals often have unique access to victims of human trafficking, because of the nature of their jobs. Human trafficking is often "hidden in plain sight", and as a result, it is very challenging to identify and prevent. However, according to a recent "Annals of Health Law" report, 88% of sex trafficking survivors reported that they had interacted with a medical provider. 

In 2012, the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons developed a strategic action plan to address and improve gaps in the identification, treatment, and prevention of human trafficking in the United States. The task force was made up of members of many different federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Homeland Security. As a result of this collaboration, the strategic plan addressed discrepancies and areas of improvement across many different professions, agencies, and programs. 

One of the major sections of the strategic plan was focused on enhancing and improving training for professionals in a variety of fields (medical providers, educators, domestic violence treatment providers, etc). The goal of these improvements was to provide professionals with the knowledge and resources to identify human trafficking and respond appropriately. 

One outcome of this strategic plan has been the "Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Act of 2018" (H.R. 767). This legislation, if passed, would provide training for healthcare professionals to help in identifying potential human trafficking victims, referring them to appropriate services, and providing them with medical care specific to their needs. 

In February 2018, the US House of Representatives passed the SOAR Act. This is a major step, but the bill is currently awaiting approval in the Senate. Here's where you come in.

If you’re reading about this issue for the first time, or if you’ve been struggling with figuring out how to help end human trafficking here at home, this is a great opportunity! You can write to your Senator and urge them to consider voting in favor of H.R. 767 today by clicking here:


Interested in learning more about human trafficking here at home? Check out the Polaris Project's research and advocacy information at https://polarisproject.org/

Theresa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, administrator at a community mental health agency in Massachusetts and has been a member of the Freedom Cafe Board of Directors since September 2014.

Summer Intern Update


     Hello, my name is Olivia Brigagliano. I am honored to have this opportunity to be a summer intern at the Freedom Cafe through the Social Innovation Challenge at the University of New Hampshire. This experience is teaching me a lot of valuable skills that I will be able to speak to and use in my development professionally. The Freedom Cafe is a wonderful space that has been able to capitalize on my interests as an economics and international affairs major. I have been welcomed into the friendly community that is Freedom Cafe and have been working on a series of projects to help The Freedom Cafe become more financially sustainable while promoting the Freedom Cafe’s mission and model. 

     I started out my internship by working with a new donor management information system. I integrated past and current data that consisted of everything from volunteer information, individual and organization donors, campaigns, events, appeals onto one organized site. During this time, we created a new streamlined system that allows for volunteers to log their hours onto this site and keep all of the Freedom Cafe’s constitutes organized on one functional site. After organizing and integrating data, which allowed me to gain Excel and management information skills, I moved to the next part of my internship. This aspect is focused on financial forecasting. I have been analyzing popular products within the Cafe and trying to determine growth through profit margins. I am analyzing trends to help determine if the Cafe should open on a weekend or if we should mark-up prices. I also help keep track of our project fund and other daily cafe transactions. Through this process I have been able to delve deeper into financial systems and gain accounting skills through the process. Finally, I am working on communications and guidelines, developing a foundation for social impact surveying. I am working on how the Cafe relays its mission and model to others and creating a familiar framework to share what the freedom cafe is about and how it is impacting the mission to end human trafficking. I am also working on an awareness survey to give out to the public. I am working with a marketing intern at Hayden’s Sports to create a partnership that will bring greater visibility to the cafe in the Durham community. 

     I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people. Their passion and devotion to this organization are attributes that I hope to have as I move on after this internship. I am very thankful to have been able to work with Bryan, Rachel, and Sean on these tasks. Bryan’s endless determination to this space as the director of Freedom Cafe is one of the biggest reasons why I feel as though this experience is a success. I have learned a lot here and will stay connected to the Cafe even after my internship. Your donations to support my position have made all of this possible. I sincerely thank you. I am thankful to have had this internship for I have been able to grow as an individual but also I have been able to work with an organization that has a beautiful mission that I am happy to help make stronger. 


Thank you to thee following sponsors for supporting The Freedom Café Social Innovation Internship 2018:

- Peter T. Paul College Scholarship - $2500
Industrolutions - $1000
- Alumni of The Freedom Café who supported the internship project fund campaign

Turn Your Concern into Action!

"Consumers say they are becoming more concerned about the impact fashion brands have on the planet. However, there is a huge gap between what consumers are saying and how they behave... Studies show that consumers are not willing to pay more for sustainable fashion and would rather pay more for style, quality and fashion which gives them value for money." - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-consumers-dont-buy-more-sustainable-fashion-susanna-koelblin/

While it's not surprising to hear there is a significant gap between concern and action when it comes to sustainably and ethically sourced products, it is encouraging that MOST CONSUMERS WILL PAY MORE FOR QUALITY. Obviously the article referenced is about fashion, however, the concept carries over to numerous other products including coffee.

The Freedom Cafe, Durham serves specialty coffee because we want to serve the very best products, providing guests a quality experience worth paying for and one that provides the highest return and investment for growers and producers throughout the supply chain.

The term specialty coffee refers to coffee made from the very best beans available in the world, which are expertly roasted by craft roasters to bring out their unique and ideal flavors. The folks at The Coffee Shrub describe a process of Farm Gate Pricing which gives growers 'above Fair Trade minimums', and provides an simple way to verify that the good price paid makes it to the people who do the work. - https://www.coffeeshrub.com/farm-gate-coffee. This is direct and transparent trade for a high quality product worth paying a premium price to enjoy.

So, turn your concern into action and buy higher quality ethically & sustainably sourced products even if it means you buy less.

You can start today right here at The Freedom Café and help end human trafficking one ethically sourced mug of specialty coffee at a time!

Join Us to Celebrate Juneteenth...

Join us to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday that
"has taken on the symbolic meaning of the day when the land of the free became less of a false narrative..."

To be honest, I first learned about it on an episode of Blackish last year and I'm the director of a non-profit working to end modern slavery! Sadly, I suspect that if it were not for my role and focus, the episode would have interested me yet still slipped out of mind. I am reminded that it is so easy to think only about ones personal freedom and to forget that our actions and neglect impact the freedom of others. 

This thoughtful article by Dolly Chugh in Forbes, draws attention to the history and importance of this celebration!



Take a Step Toward a Traffick-free Country

By Colie Haahr

You may not know it yet, but you know someone whose life has been touched by human trafficking. Our very own country has put teenagers and children directly in the hands of traffickers. Runaways and homeless youth in our country will be approached by traffickers within 48 hours of being on the street. What country do you live in? What countries come to mind first? It’s time to acknowledge our misguided belief that human trafficking is a only problem in countries that are less developed than The United States. It’s a problem in our country. It’s a problem in your state. It may be happening in your city or town. It happens here. Until we accept that fact, nothing can be done to change it.

Since getting involved with the Freedom Cafe, I have been to three different talks by survivors of human trafficking. Though their stories were different, what I have found myself thinking each time is that it could happen to anyone. One of the most powerful parts of hearing a survivor speak is the collective realization of the audience: “That could be me.” Trafficking stories often start with the same thing- a relationship. We all have those. Some of us have been in relationships that became unhealthy, others, abusive. Trafficking victims get trapped in a relationship based on manipulation and coercion, and it happens to more people than we know about. According to nonprofit Ark of Hope For Children, up to 300,000 Americans under 18 are lured into the commercial sex trade every year. (https://arkofhopeforchildren.org/child-trafficking/child-trafficking-statistics). In 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received over 26,000 calls, and reported over 8,000 cases of trafficking.( https://humantraffickinghotline.org/states). These numbers have doubled since 2012. The states with the most human trafficking cases in 2017 were California (1,305), Texas (792), Florida (604), Ohio (365) and New York (333).

Knowing these facts is not why I got involved with the Freedom Cafe. Getting involved with the Freedom Cafe is the reason that I know these facts. One of the first talks that I went to at the Freedom Cafe was a panel of experts from the NH Human Trafficking Task Force. The detective on the panel talked about the role of addiction in trafficking cases here in New Hampshire. While I wasn’t surprised by the link between trafficking and addiction, I was saddened by it. The Opioid crisis has led to more trafficking cases: people manipulated by drug dealers and sometimes forced to use drugs to become addicted. I thought this was sickening. I thought this was as ugly as humans can get.

As some people reading this may know, I lost my older brother this year after his nearly 20 year struggle with addiction. What you may not know is that my half sister passed away in 2009 after a 5 year struggle with addiction that involved a manipulative and abusive relationship with a drug dealer. While there are many layers to each of their stories, I can say that I loved them both dearly, and that they had friends and family who loved them, cared for them, and tried to help. It’s a hollow feeling knowing trafficking victims do not even have access to those who care about them. I know that there is hope for trafficking victims, but I am also aware of the reality that survivors may need many different levels of care and resources- some of which are scarce- to recover from addiction in addition to trafficking.

The recent news that the United States government put refugee children and teenagers in the hands of traffickers is bringing more awareness to trafficking, and with that, I hope, more action to protect the most vulnerable people in our country (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/us/politics/us-placed-immigrant-children-with-traffickers-report-says.html). I have not stopped thinking about the nearly 1500 other immigrant children that the government cannot account for. It hurts my heart knowing that they are at high risk of being trafficked in a country they came to for safety.

When asked recently why I got involved with the Freedom Cafe, I said “because human trafficking is a cause that everyone cares about if they know about it.” I think that the most important thing the Freedom Cafe does is educate people about trafficking and ethical consumption. There is a spirit of empowerment at the Freedom Cafe that allows people to be both hopeful and realistic about the path toward a traffick-free world. I feel most inspired by the past and present volunteers who I know will walk this path in their lives and their communities. I truly do not doubt the power of the ripple effect, and I hope that together we can make our country a safer place for vulnerable populations. For this and many other reasons, I am choosing to support the Freedom Cafe for New Hampshire Gives on June 6th. If you want to join me, you can take a step toward a traffick-free world here: https://www.nhgives.org/p2p/40927/colie-haahr-f776d06a-b71d-4ef4-aac7-e2602acc2e00

National Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

*Colie is the STEAM and school aged programs coordinator at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and has served as a member of The Freedom Cafe Board since Jan. 2017. 

The Freedom Café partners with The University of New Hampshire to host a Social Innovation Intern

This summer, The Freedom Café has collaborated with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to host a Social Innovation Intern starting May 22.

In 2011, UNH launched the Social Innovation Internship program, a nine-week internship opportunity designed to expose high-performing students to workplace environments. In eight years, the program has placed 105 students at 51 leading businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations that use a market-based approach to tackle social and environmental issues.


After interviewing potential candidates, we were matched with Olivia Brigagliano, a dual majoring in Economics and International Affairs, with a minor in French. We are excited to have Olivia as part of our team and look forward to working with her to develop capacity, sustainability, and tools to track and communicate social impact. 

Our thanks to the following sponsors for supporting The Freedom Café Social Innovation Internship 2018:
- Peter T. Paul College Scholarship - $2500
Industrolutions - $1000
- The Freedom Café alumni who supported the internship project fund campaign
- Sean Matthews & Left Hook Digital