The fire that destroyed a barn and several acres of pasture at Soul Food Farm in Vacaville last Thursday has succeeded in kindling a measure of community support. Today, Bi-Rite Market co-owner Sam Mogannam kicked off of a raffle to raise money for the stricken poultry farm.
“Soul Food is one of our favorite purveyors of incredible pastured chickens and eggs,” Mogannam's email announcement read. “Without the immediate support they need to recover, the farm will not survive.” Today, Bi-Rite began selling raffle tickets, with a goal of raising $10,000 for Soul Food by October 1. Prizes include a dinner for eight at 18 Reasons, a gift card to Bi-Rite Creamery that translates as a year's worth of ice cream, as well as wines and food items from Bi-Rite Market. Mogannam said the company would also provide a match of up to $2,000. Raffle tickets are $5 each, or five for $20.
“She needs the money,” Mogannam told SFoodie, referring to Soul Food owner Alexis Koefoed. “We were strategizing the best way to do it – we were originally thinking about auctioning off a dinner at 18 Reasons, like we did for La Cocina [for last month's S.F. Street Food Festival], but we decided that at some point one item would be too expensive for people to bid on.” Before the fire, Bi-Rite was selling three to four dozen Soul Food chickens and up to 160 dozen eggs per week.
Mogannam said the initial response to the raffle has been overwhelming. “The phone's been tied up all day. Just about an hour ago David Evans from Marin Sun Farms bought 75 tickets.” He said the roster of prizes might expand to include donations from other businesses. “I'm totally blown away by the community,” Mogannam said. “We need to do something like this more often.”
Raffle tickets are available at Bi-Rite Market (3639 18th St. at Guerrero) and Bi-Rite Creamery (3692 18th St. at Dolores), or by calling 241-9760. Sales will continue through September.