WAILUKU - The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) distributed 25,000 pounds of rice throughout Maui County in November and December.
The annual "Rice for the Holidays" program began in 2008 when MHLA partnered with Jim Coon of Trilogy Excursions in the company's annual giveaway of turkeys to Lanai residents by adding a five-pound bag of rice with the turkey.
Since then, the program has expanded to provide rice for food distributions on Maui and Molokai. In 2011, Hana was added to the program.
The rice was distributed on Lanai on Nov. 17, and in Molokai (pictured) and Hana on Dec. 1. On Maui, the rice is being distributed through Feed My Sheep.
MHLA partners with many of its members to make this food distribution possible, including COSTCO Wholesale, Young Brothers, and Island Movers.
"This annual food distribution would not be possible without the support of our members," said Lisa Paulson, MHLA executive director.
"Maui's visitor industry is a big believer in taking care of the community in which we all live."
The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 to advocate for the visitor industry.
The organization also provides educational opportunities and scholarships, and gives back to the community via the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, Excellence in Education golf tournament and Kupuna Dinner.
For additional information, contact MHLA at 244-8625.