More than 33,000 pounds of food will be distributed by the Maui Food Bank to Moloka‘i residents in need through a $20,000 contribution from the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation (HEICF). HEI is the parent company of Hawaiian Electric, which supplies power to Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island.
The donation will support additional shipments this week and in May to supplement Maui Food Bank’s regular monthly delivery of food to Moloka‘i. Once delivered, 19 partner agencies across the island distribute safe, nutritious, and fresh food to individuals, families, kids, seniors on fixed incomes, the homeless and anyone who is at risk of going hungry.
“During this coronavirus pandemic with many more in our communities facing hardships, the Maui Food Bank is experiencing a significant increase in requests for food assistance,” said Richard Yust, executive director of the Maui Food Bank. “This generous contribution from Hawaiian Electric will provide much needed additional pallets of food to be shipped to Moloka‘i where food distributions are being depleted more quickly.”
“We’re grateful for organizations like the Maui Food Bank and the on-island partner agencies for maintaining this critical, essential service throughout these uncertain times,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui County and Hawai‘i Island utilities for Hawaiian Electric. “We’re all in this together and we wanted to help alleviate this escalating need for basic necessities in one of the most remote communities we serve.”
“ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia! No task is too large when we come together,” said Kilia Purdy-Avelino of Alu Like Inc., a partner agency on Moloka‘i. “Mahalo to all for working together in unity to aloha Moloka‘i with such generous donations from the Maui Food Bank, Hawaiian Electric and other companies, non-profit organizations, and even individuals. The overwhelming gratitude from the receiving families speaks volumes of what the extra food bank deliveries mean to our community.”
In March, the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation earlier contributed $50,000 to the Hawai‘i Foodbank to assist families across Hawai‘i in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.