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Visitor industry gives back to the community through ‘Rice for the Holidays’

By Staff | Dec 31, 2015

Pictured at the event on Lanai are (from left): Lisa Paulson of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, Albert Ranis Jr. of Young Brothers, Jim Coon of Trilogy and Rep. Lynn DeCoite.

WAILUKU – The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) distributed 25,000 pounds of rice throughout Maui County this November and December.

The annual “Rice for the Holidays” program began in 2008, when MHLA partnered with Jim Coon of Trilogy Excursions in their annual giveaway of turkeys to the residents of Lanai 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 distribution.

The rice was distributed on Lanai on Saturday, Nov. 21, and in Molokai and Hana on Saturday, Dec. 5. On Maui, the rice is being distributed through Feed My Sheep.

This year on Lanai, State Rep. Lynn DeCoite helped with the food distribution.

MHLA partners with many of its members – including Costco Wholesale, Young Brothers, and Island Movers – to make this food distribution possible.

“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 more information, contact MHLA at 244-8625.