Cincinnati/Cleveland/Columbus, Ohio – When the cannabis industry was deemed essential business by the State of Ohio, civic organization Cannabis Can! immediately felt a responsibility to help fellow Ohioans. Its mission that Cannabis Can! Strengthen Communities! and Fight Hunger! called organizers into action in March as COVID-19 shutdowns began to increase food insecurity nationwide.
Cannabis Can! worked with Freestore Foodbank, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and Mid-Ohio Foodbank for its 2019 Holiday Canned Food Drive, which collected half a ton of nonperishable goods. In conjunction with its food bank partners in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, they established branded landing pages for the 2020 Virtual Food Drive. Through these web pages, a text-to-give campaign and Facebook, Cannabis Can! supporters have been making secure, tax-deductible gifts directly to food banks for immediate use.
Forty-one mainstream and cannabis industry businesses, nonprofits, organizations, and influencers became Partners in the Cannabis Can! campaign to raise funds for Ohio food banks. Partners promote the Virtual Food Drive and offer incentives to donors; in turn, they receive promotion benefits from Cannabis Can!. A diverse group of Partners formed that includes businesses and organizations not directly related to the cannabis industry.
The Drive itself started on April 20 and the call went out to “Celebrate 4/20 by showing that the cannabis community cares about fighting hunger.” Organizers set a fundraising goal of $3,000.00, equivalent to 12,000 meals or $27,000 worth of groceries, by June 30.
They not only met that goal, they surpassed it. Cannabis Can! Director, Lorien Hill-Purcell, announced $3,745.55 has been given directly to the Columbus area Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati collectively. Sixty donations, ranging from $5 to $525, make up the total. “Our Partners and Supporters include individuals and organizations who invested time, energy, and resources to reduce the stigma around cannabis by fighting hunger and strengthening Ohio communities,” says Hill-Purcell.
The $3,745.55 raised will help Ohio food banks acquire and distribute up to $33,709.95 worth of groceries, equivalent to 14,982 meals for our neighbors in need. However, the Drive does not stop because the goal was achieved. Donation pages will be active throughout the remainder of 2020 and links to them are available on the Cannabis Can! website, cannabiscanohio.org. Organizers’ new Virtual Food Drive target is $5,000 by January 1, 2021.
Cannabis Can! 2020 Virtual Food Drive Partners include:
Cannabis Safety First
Cincinnati Botanical Depot
Cincinnati Medical Marijuana Meetup
Cincy Mom Buds
Cleveland School of Cannabis
Columbus Botanical Depot
Green Harvest Health
Green Ideas and Wellness
Have A Heart Cincy
Health and Wellness Online, LLC
Key to Life Garden
KT Scooter Rentals
Luminous Life Wellness Center, LLC
Medical Marijuana Patient Care, LLC
Murray Road Strong
My Drops of Sanity
Ohio CBD Guy
Ohio Medical Marijuana Physicians Association
Ohio Rights Group
ORG Education Fund
Rise Dispensaries of Ohio
Terrasana Cannabis Co.
Tha Presidential Suite
The Nature Factory
The Ohio Cannabis and Hemp Chamber of Commerce
The Relaxation Place Inc.
Tulip Tree CBD
Vireo Health, LLC