Editor’s Note: Nothing like a global pandemic to remind us how lucky we are to live in a small, tight-knit community where no one is a stranger and everyone deserves compassion. For some Carpinterians, the COVID-19 pandemic has become their Superman phone booth, when and where to activate their powers. We marvel at what so many members of the community have done to make the discomfort bearable and sometimes even beautiful. When the going gets tough, these Carterians set off.
When the economic fallout from Covid-19 began to spread like poison across Carpinteria, a group of cannabis growers came up with an idea for the antidote: collaboration.
Members of the Cannabis Association for Responsible Producers (CARP Growers) took action with $ 20,000 in seed money to create Fund 93013 under the auspices of the Rotary Club of Carpinteria Sunset Charitable Foundation. Guided by an advisory board made up of local nonprofit administrators, Fund 93013 would serve as a focal point for raising and distributing funds in collaboration and partnership with nonprofit organizations, and with an emphasis on distribution. food.
By early May, individual contributions had taken the fund to over $ 100,000. One of the fund’s contributors and officers is Hans Brand, co-owner of Autumn Brands and a member of Sunset Rotary and CARP Growers.
âI wanted to help here, the pain is so great,â says Brand, who was born in Holland. âMy parents came from the war. My dad used to tell us stories about the first chocolate he received from an American soldier in 1945. As a community we have never experienced anything difficult like this, but now is a time to go. be difficult for a lot of people. ”
Food insecurity in Carpinteria has skyrocketed with the pandemic. Demand during the Carpinteria Children’s Project’s emergency food distribution increased from around 500 people per month before the pandemic to 2,200 people per week in mid-May. Fund 93013 helped close this food supply gap and started providing weekend food boxes with fresh produce, pulses and grains; weekly hot meals for the elderly; gift certificates to local restaurants; and school supplies. Everything is sourced locally, keeping the dollars with the Carpinteria families and supporting the local business sector.
âWe had to try something,â Brand says. âIf we look back to September or November and tried something, even though we weren’t 100 percent successful, then at least we helped as much as we could. If we look back and haven’t done anything, and we see all the stores that have closed and the families that have suffered, then it’s a disaster.
By the end of May, the fund had served 20,000 meals.