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West Maui community responds strongly to Rotary food drive

By Staff | Dec 3, 2015

West Maui Rotarians (from left) Jim Fahnestock, Heidi Dollinger and Katie Zimmerman participated in the successful “Rotary Gives Thanks” food drive for Maui Food Bank.

LAHAINA – West Maui residents and visitors responded strongly to the recent “Rotary Gives Thanks” food drive for Maui Food Bank.

In a single weekend, volunteers from the three Lahaina Rotary clubs collected cash donations totaling nearly $3,000, along with nearly 1,500 pounds of packaged food and more than two dozen frozen turkeys.

Maui Food Bank estimates it can provide four meals for one dollar. Given this level of efficiency, the Nov. 21-22 “Rotary Gives Thanks” food drive will enable Maui Food Bank to provide nearly 12,000 meals with the cash collected, plus hundreds of additional meals with the packaged food and frozen turkeys donated.

Members of the three Rotary clubs – Rotary Club of Lahaina, Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise, and Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset – staffed tables in front of Lahaina Safeway on Nov. 21 and 22, and in front of Times Supermarket in Honokowai on Nov. 21.

For the last 12 years, all Rotary clubs on Maui, in partnership with The Maui Food Bank, have set up collection stations island-wide for a two-day food drive before Thanksgiving. Residents have embraced the effort.

“We were thrilled by the generosity of residents and visitors alike,” said Sandy Schneider, president of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.

“The spirit of the holiday season – and the spirit of aloha – are alive and well in West Maui. The enthusiastic support of the community for this food drive was heart-warming.”

“We are indebted to the management of Lahaina Safeway and Times Supermarket Honokowai for allowing us to conduct this drive in front of their stores,” said Leah Lambros, president of the Rotary Club of Lahaina.

“Thanks to their community-minded spirit, fewer people in Maui County will be hungry this holiday season.”

“This food drive is especially meaningful to West Maui Rotarians,” said Tera Paleka, president of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise.

“It’s about our three clubs coming together to help those in our community who may be having a hard time and showing them they are not alone.”

Rotary is celebrating 100 years of service to Hawaii this year. There are ten Rotary clubs in Maui County – nine on Maui and one on Lanai. For information on Rotary, visit rotary.org. All Maui County Rotary clubs welcome guests and new members.