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Visitor industry provide rice for the holidays

By Staff | Dec 17, 2009

Rich Yust of the Maui Food Bank and Carol Reimann of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association are surrounded by palettes of rice donated to benefit Maui residents.

WAILUKU — Lanai residents were recently treated to frozen turkeys and five-pound bags of rice as holiday gifts from Maui’s visitor industry.

The Coon Family and employees of Trilogy and Lanai City Service have been giving out turkeys on Lanai for many, many years.

Beginning last year, the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) jumped in with five-pound bags of rice.

Additional partners came in to help this year. Young Brothers provided shipping for the holiday treats, and Island Movers and Lanai Trucking also contributed with trucking services. 

In all, 1,000 turkeys and 1,000 bags of rice were handed out on Nov. 21 to Lanai residents.

MHLA also partnered with Young Brothers to provide 1,000 bags of rice to Molokai residents during the “Happy Holidays Molokai Style” event on Dec. 5.

MHLA has also donated six palettes (3,000 bags of rice) to the residents of Maui through a donation to the Maui Food Bank.

“MHLA’s generous donation comes at a critical time for the Maui Food Bank, as we are experiencing difficulties in keeping our shelves filled during this holiday period,” said Richard Yust, executive director for the Maui Food Bank.

“The Food Bank exists to assure that no one in Maui County goes hungry. We are grateful that MHLA is helping us to fulfill this mission.”

“It all started with Jim and Rand Coon, who allowed us to ride on their coattails on Lanai, and now we’ve expanded our giving-back efforts to include all of the islands in Maui County,” said Carol Reimann, MHLA executive director. “The visitor industry is honored to give back to the residents of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Rice is a staple for many, and we hope to touch as many lives as possible during the holidays and especially during these tough economic times.”

MHLA is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 to advocate for the visitor industry. For information, call 244-8625.