Bay Area medical cannabis company Bloom Farms has redirected all of its statewide donations to a Northern California food bank situated among the state’s most devastating wildfires through the end of the year, the company announced this week.
Bloom Farms is targeting its remaining 2017 donations — as of mid-October — to the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa, supporting Californians in need and victims of the wildfires, which Bloom Farms Founder and CEO Michael Ray and his family have also endured in the past.
“Having experienced total loss of our family farm just two years ago in the Butte Fire, my heart is broken for all of those affected in the Northern California fires,” said Ray. “We all need to take care of each other. We are mobilizing and coordinating efforts in the cannabis community to provide any relief that we can in this terribly sad time.”
Bloom Farms is a one-for-one cannabis company dedicated to eliminating food insecurity in communities across the Golden State. For every product sold, Bloom Farms donates the cost of a meal to a California food bank partner.
Bloom Farms’ one-for-one program was launched in December 2015, and the company — best known for its top-selling Highlighter cannabis vapor pen — is on target to donate its 1 millionth meal to California food banks in December.
Bloom Farms consulted with its statewide food bank partners and is proud to divert its donations to the state’s fire-ravaged areas with the other food banks’ permission and support. On Jan. 1, 2018, Bloom Farms’ food bank donations will revert back to the statewide model.
As a wildfire victim himself, Ray watched his childhood home and cannabis farm in Mountain Ranch, California, go up in flames during the Butte County fires in 2015, which at the time was one of the worst in recent memory when it burned through more than 70,000 acres and destroyed around 500 homes.
Ray understands that it takes a community to rebuild, which is why he’s focusing his support on Northern California communities in these devastating days. Since last week, more than a dozen major wildfires have destroyed nearly 6,000 homes and other structures in Northern California.
Bloom Farms’ internal culture is rooted in corporate social responsibility. Bloom Farms was the only cannabis business included on the San Francisco Business Times’ esteemed Top 100 corporate philanthropists in the Bay Area. Other companies in the 2017 Top 100 include Google, eBay, Levi Strauss & Co., Twitter, Microsoft, Bayer, Adobe, The Gap, PayPal and Salesforce.
“For me, Bloom Farms is a social good company as much as we are a cannabis company,” said Ray.
The nonprofit Redwood Empire Food Bank, which has been working to end hunger from Sonoma County to the Oregon border for 30 years, is offering a special drive-through distribution with free produce, non-perishable foods and snacks, staple groceries, breads, canned goods, high quality proteins, beverages and dairy items to the community through Oct. 21 in Santa Rosa. The food bank is also providing critical food to evacuation centers and shelters.
An estimated 4.9 million — or one in eight — Californians are food insecure, according to the California Association of Food Banks, with nearly 2 million of the food insecure being children. Food banks expect to see even more of a need since the wildfires displaced thousands of families.
TELL US, have you ever experienced a disaster situation?