Warm Bevie

Riverside, CA –

The Arc of Riverside, a nonprofit agency that began the NineZero Project three years ago as a way to spread the word about the number one cause of intellectual and other developmental disabilities in the United States – prenatal exposure to alcohol causing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders — has launched a “coffee for a cause” enterprise that they hope will provide increased awareness and financial resources to sustain their prevention and educational efforts in Riverside County. This whole bean coffee is fittingly called NineZero Blend Coffee and is receiving excellent reviews for its quality.

The first community promotion of NineZero Blend Coffee took place this month at the Riverside Art Museum. Paul Thiel, editor and publisher of 951 Magazine featured the blend as part of the magazine’s annual reception held at that location again this year.

Now Riverside County residents can enjoy a premium blend of quality coffee and know they are contributing to a wonderful cause. NineZero whole bean coffee is made from a rich blend of quality beans from Africa and South America. It is shipped within days of roasting and packaged to ensure excellent quality and no bitter taste. The logo and the graphics on the bag are artfully constructed and the message is simple and affirming.

“We are very fortunate to be able to present to our community such a quality product to go with a cause that we feel so passionate about,” said Jim Stream, executive director of the Arc of Riverside. “If even one additional expectant mom finds this ‘message on a bag’ and doesn’t drink because of it, or one friend or family member is able to communicate this important message at a critical moment, we will feel the effort is worthwhile.”

All the net proceeds of the sale of this coffee go to help prevent a serious and costly health problem in our community. Recent studies indicate that one baby in 100 is born with significant damage due to their mother’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Often these babies are not diagnosed in the first year or two and fall through the cracks of the social service system and end up with lifelong problems.

“NineZero” is Arc Riverside’s simple one-word message that literally means “Nine Months. Zero Alcohol.” and communicates a fact that not everyone is aware of – there is no known safe limit for drinking alcohol during pregnancy. This “no safe limit” pronouncement was placed in a public health directive by the Surgeon General of the United States for the first time in 2005. By that time, it had become convincingly clear that even small amounts of alcohol at critical periods are harmful.

“I’m so supportive of this effort because I don’t want families to go through what I experienced when my son came from a foster home to live with me at age two,” said Eva Carner, FASD project director for the Arc of Riverside. A version of “Eva and Rick’s Incredible Journey” can be found online at www.arcriverside.org.

Other ways Arc Riverside is spreading the NineZero message is through a peer taught curriculum in high school health classes, video and printed public service announcements, distribution of other NineZero products and through the Internet at www.NineZero.org. The unique NineZero Project is catching on in other communities as well via word of mouth and the Internet.

By July 1, 2007, anyone liking our coffee and wanting to support our cause can have a fresh supply of NineZero Blend Coffee shipped directly to their home by joining the NineZero Coffee Club found on the www.NineZero.org Web site.

This “coffee for a cause” project is one more example of Arc Riverside’s use of the free enterprise system to help ameliorate a community social or health issue affecting people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families in Riverside County.

The Arc of Riverside is a non-profit organization that provides services, supports and advocacy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families throughout Western Riverside County, and is located at 8138 Mar Vista Court, Riverside, CA 92504.