Bloom Farms™, a San Francisco-based medical cannabis company, donated its 500,000th healthy meal to the state’s nonprofit food banks in April 2017, CEO Michael Ray announced to his staff this week.
For every Bloom Farms product sold, the one-for-one cannabis business donates money to food banks across the state to cover the cost of sourcing and distributing a healthy meal to a family or individual in need.
One Bloom Farms item sold has equalled one healthy meal donated since the Bay Area company started its one-for-one program in December of 2015.
“True corporate responsibility involves investing equally in the success of your business and the social good,” Ray told his staff this week. “It’s always been important to me that Bloom Farms grows into a different kind of cannabis company, and I couldn’t be prouder of this team and this very important milestone.”
More than 5.4 million Californians don’t know where their next meal is coming from – and that includes the 2.1 million children who may go to bed hungry each night, according to the California Association for Food Banks. The state’s food insecurity rate is nearly 14 percent, and a teenage Ray saw this first-hand while growing up in Calaveras County with childhood friends who oftentimes stayed over for home-cooked meals.
“Back then we were simply having my friends over for dinner, but I didn’t realize the severity of the situation until I got a little older and saw the statistics that say one in eight Californians don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” said Ray. “It just broke my heart, and I knew I had to do something about it.”
In addition to its one-for-one program, Bloom Farms gives its staffers four hours of paid volunteer time every month to dedicate as they see fit – and many of them choose to spend those hours working in one of the organization’s partner food banks. It’s that bilateral dedication that has made a lasting impact at these cash-strapped nonprofits.
“Partnering with Bloom Farms has made all the difference for World Harvest LA and its clients,” Glen Curado, CEO of World Harvest LA Food Bank, said recently. “They not only contribute financially, but their staff volunteers with us as often as they can. It’s an amazing company with extraordinary staff.”
SF-Marin Food Bank executive director Paul Ash agrees that Bloom Farms’ hands-on dedication to their food-gathering work has been invaluable.
“We’re so grateful for the reliable support that Bloom Farms has provided over the past year,” said Ash. “Just as our participants know they can depend on us for food, knowing that Bloom Farms is there to support the SF-Marin Food Bank is something we truly value.”
In the last year alone Bloom Farms has donated to the Calaveras County Butte Fire relief efforts, hosted Cannabis Career Fairs and Bloom Fit yoga classes in San Francisco and Los Angeles and sponsored world-renowned cultural events including the San Francisco International Film Festival, Wanderlust and the Mill Valley Film Festival.
Bloom Farms CEO Ray, who founded the company in mid-2014, says giving back to the community is a no-brainer – “and this philosophy is all the more important in our industry.
“The cannabis industry should be no different than any other, but the truth is there’s still a stigma surrounding cannabis – but we can show the world that this stigma is little more than an anachronism by doing more than what is required of us.”
As Ray recently wrote in MG Magazine: “Corporate social responsibility is our ticket to changing perceptions about what we do. Corporate social responsibility is our way of healing the planet, not just our patients. Corporate social responsibility can no longer be a second thought.”
Bloom Farms is on target to reach 1 million donated meals by Thanksgiving 2017.
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