A Message from our Founder and CEO Tariq Farid | Edible Arrangements

EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS®  BLOG

CEO Tariq Farid

August 2, 2014

A Message from our Founder and CEO Tariq Farid

This blog post titled, “A closer look at who we support, and why” was originally posted by Edible Arrangements® CEO and Founder Tariq Farid on Tariqfarid.com

One of the unfortunate side effects of our digital age is that unfounded and hateful allegations can be easily spread to the public, even years after they have been dismissed as untrue.

I have experienced this firsthand due to the recent reappearance of old rumors by extremist bloggers about charitable contributions made through our non-profit organizations to worthwhile causes. Even the Anti-Defamation League has dismissed the accusations as baseless, but they continue live online nevertheless.

As I have written many times before, when I started Edible Arrangements from a small storefront in East Haven, Connecticut, I had no idea it would achieve the success we have enjoyed over the last 15 years. From the start I have focused on building the business the right way, based on the values I was taught as a child.

Thanks to the passion and trust of our franchisees, who are from all walks of life, all cultures and faiths, Edible Arrangements has grown beyond my wildest dreams. I am living proof that the American Dream is still alive and well.

As I have also written in the past, with success comes responsibility. My faith is clear that I have a responsibility to share a portion my success for the benefit of society, and one of my true joys has been providing support to organizations and causes who are helping those less fortunate.

Sadly, two of these contributions have been the focus of the hate-mongers who have used them to attack, me, my family and, as a result, everyone at Edible Arrangements.

Anyone who knows me and my family, knows there is no truth to them. When the accusations originally appeared, even the ADL was quick to denounce them.

At the time, the accusations were so outrageous that I felt it best not to acknowledge them publicly. When customers, franchisees, friends or business associates asked me about them, I reassured them they were not true. By addressing them publicly, however, I felt I would only give them the credibility they didn’t deserve and cause undue concern.

Due to the recent turmoil in the Middle East, however, those looking for villains have again given life to these ridiculous rumors. And, I feel I must address them now.

In 2011, the Farid Foundation made a contribution to ICNA Relief USA, a New York City-based subset of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), for the purpose of building housing for battered women. ICNA Relief, which has also partnered with such important organizations as FEMA, the Red Cross and Catholic Charities, provides a wide range of services designed to help those in need. I am proud that we were able to join many other businesses and organizations in providing a refuge for these women.

In 2012, we again joined many other well-known businesses and organizations in supporting a street festival organized by Inner City Muslim Action Network. Among other purposes, the event was designed to encourage healthy eating habits among youth. During a franchisee meeting in Chicago I had the opportunity to visit their clinic and halfway houses for people making the transition from prison back into society. I was moved by the work they are doing in this area. The organization’s clinic and food distribution network are nationally recognized. Our support is small, compared to that provided by the U.S. Department of State and other major corporations, but I am very supportive of the programs this organization provides in its community and proud to be among its supporters.

Even though both of these organizations and projects are supported by many well-known businesses and organizations, and both have been honored by the White House, for some reason our contributions have been singled out, and their purpose twisted by those who would use them to spread their hate.

As with most charitable organizations, I understand that questions will sometimes be raised about where the money is going and how it is used. That is why we have always been very transparent about which organizations we support.

We are very careful in our selection process to make sure that our support goes to legally recognized, non-profit organizations, and, as much as possible, that our contributions are used for the causes for which they have been requested.

Below is a list of causes that we have supported over the years. I would be the first one to take an organization to task if I ever learned that our contributions had been used to spread hate and bigotry.

Our company is based on celebrating what is good in life, and I will continue to willingly share my success by supporting those who are helping others lead a better life.

After all, helping others is the American way.

WHO WE SUPPORT

Following is a comprehensive overview of support provided through the Tariq Farid Foundation, the Farid Foundation and Edible Arrangements.

TARIQ FARID FOUNDATION DONATIONS

2014

  • House of Bread (Hartford, CT) – local food pantry
  • Hands on Hartford, Manna Food Pantry (Hartford, CT) – local food pantry
  • Meriden Soup Kitchen (Meriden, CT) – local food pantry
  • Community Soup Kitchen (New Haven, CT) – local food pantry
  • IRIS Food Pantry (New Haven, CT) – local food pantry
  • Master’s MANNA(Wallingford, CT) – refrigeration/food
  • Waterbury Mosque(Waterbury, CT) – local food pantry
  • St. Vincent de Paul(Middletown, CT) – local soup kitchen
  • Youth @ Work(New Haven, CT) – youth employment program
  • IRIS – summer youth program
  • Solar Youth – at-risk youth programming
  • Fresh Air Fund – at-risk youth summer camp
  • Hubcap Wallingford (Wallingford, CT) – co-working space,  business incubator
  • YMCA Wallingford (Wallingford, CT) – financial assistance fund
  • W.H. Community House – sponsorship of annual walk

FARID FOUNDATION DONATIONS

2013

  • IRIS – summer youth program
  • Farid Foundation Pakistan
  • Salma K Farid Academy (Hamden, CT) – Islamic school, daycare and community center
  • Family Services of Waterbury
  • American Legion Auxiliary #45
  • CT Burns Care Foundation
  • Masjid Al-Islam
  • United Moslem Mosque
  • United Muslim Masjid
  • Indigent Aid – aid to local individuals in need of financial assistance

2012

  • Columbus House (New Haven, CT) – shelter for the homeless
  • Family Services Of Waterbury (Waterbury, CT) – aid for abused women and children
  • Farid Foundation Pakistan
  • Inner City Muslim Action Network – social services organization providing hospital services for urban communities across USA and organizer of STREET Festival, which includes encouraging healthy eating habits among youth
  • Islamic Center of Wallingford (Wallingford, CT) – Muslim house of worship
  • Madina Academy (Windsor, CT) – education
  • Masjid Al-Islam (New Haven, CT) – Muslim house of worship
  • Meriden Soup Kitchen (Meriden, CT) – soup kitchen
  • Salma K Farid Academy (Hamden, CT) – Islamic school, daycare and community center
  • Zaytuna College (Berkeley, CA) – tuition assistance for needy students
  • Islamic Association Of Southern CT – Islamic community based organization
  • St. Baldrick’s Foundation – California-based organization fighting childhood cancer
  • C.R.E.W Relief to Rebuild Alabama – community revitalization efforts in Wallingford, Ala
  • MCSC – Miss Connecticut scholarship fund
  • Cheshire Academy (Cheshire, CT) – education
  • Norton Elementary School (Cheshire, CT) – elementary school
  • USPAK – youth leadership organization
  • Connecticut Burn Care Foundation – supports burn unit in Bridgeport Hospital
  • United For Change – poverty relief
  • IRIS – summer youth program
  • Orange Visiting Nurses Association
  • Catholic Relief Services – Haiti earthquake relief
  • Milford Youth & Family Services
  • Connecticut Hospice
  • Yale School of Medicine Pediatrics (New Haven, CT) – cancer research
  • Alex Rolon Cancer Fund
  • Abdul Waheed
  • Iman Abdush-Shakur
  • Indigent Aid – aid to local individuals in need of financial assistance

2011

  • Columbus House
  • Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (New Haven, CT) – local soup kitchen
  • Farid Foundation Pakistan
  • Meriden Soup Kitchen (Meriden, CT) – soup kitchen
  • Salma K Farid Academy (Hamden, CT) – Islamic school, daycare and community center
  • ICNA Relief USA – New York City organization supporting shelters for abused women
  • Oman Charitable Organization – Somalia Relief Fund
  • Muslim Coalition of Connecticut – promotes social responsibility through educational and outreach activities
  • Get Inspired, Inc. – California-based arts and sciences program
  • IMAN
  • Islamic Center of Wallingford (Wallingford, CT) – Muslim house of worship
  • Indigent Aid – aid to local individuals in need of financial assistance

2010

  • M.J. Petretto Foundation (Wallingford, CT) – support for Gaylord Hospital Traumatic Brain Injury Unit
  • USA Edhi Intn’l Foundation – social services such as medical, child welfare, abused women safe houses, and other services

EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS / EDIBLE CARES

  • National Breast Cancer Foundation in the US
  • Breast Cancer Society of Canada
  • American Red Cross
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • VetFran (Washington, DC)- business education and support for veterans
  • International Franchise Association (Washington, DC) – support for advances in technology in franchising




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