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Public-private partnership to provide food assistance in Maui County

By Staff | Jun 25, 2020

WAILUKU – To support Maui County residents impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino recently announced an innovative public-private partnership to provide food assistance to recently unemployed individuals and those in need.

The County of Maui matched a $115,000 donation from the Hawaii Resilience Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation for COVID-19 relief efforts.

The funds will be deployed to nonprofits Feed My Sheep, Hui No Ke Ola Pono and Maui Food Bank to distribute food on the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai.

The Bank of Hawaii Foundation donated $3 million to the Hawaii Resilience Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation to address the growing social and economic impacts of COVID-19 in Hawaii. From their donation, a total of $85,000 will be deployed through this initiative to feed families in Maui County.

“The families of Maui County need support to meet basic needs during this time of increased economic hardship,” Mayor Victorino said.

“Through this partnership with local non-profits, Bank of Hawaii Foundation and the Hawaii Community Foundation, we will be able to provide meals to those in need as quickly as possible. In a time like this, it’s creative partnerships and the spirit of collaboration that help us rise above any challenge.”

“As our communities continue to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank of Hawaii remains steadfast in our partnership with the Hawaii Community Foundation and our local organizations working together to address the many needs in our community,” said Peter S. Ho, chairman, president and CEO of Bank of Hawaii.

“We hope the funds deployed from our donation to the Hawaii Resilience Fund will help make a significant impact in serving and feeding families throughout Maui County.”

“Because of this generous support, the Maui Food Bank will be able to increase the amount of food provided at local food distributions on Maui, Molokai and Lanai,” said Richard Yust, executive director of the Maui Food Bank.

“This partnership will also benefit our local economy, given that much of the food we distribute is purchased from local farmers.”

The public-private initiative was spurred by the unprecedented demand on food banks in Hawaii due to the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on island families.

With an economic downturn, closures and shorter business hours, and increased unemployment, demand for food assistance has increased across the state – and is expected to continue.

“We are grateful for Mayor Victorino and Bank of Hawaii Foundation for their unwavering commitment to provide hope and support to families during this pandemic,” said Micah Kane, CEO and president of the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Feed My Sheep will purchase and distribute donated food to low-income families in five locations on Maui: Lahaina, Happy Valley in Wailuku, Kahului and Kihei weekly, and Hana on a monthly basis.

For more information about Feed My Sheep food distribution locations, days and times, visit FeedMySheepMaui.com/index.php/Mobile-Food-Distributions.

Hui No Ke Ola Pono is a Native Hawaiian Health Care System clinic that will produce 200 meals per day for kupuna on Maui over a span of ten weeks by utilizing their commercial kitchen. The organization typically provides meals for preschools, daycare centers and kupuna, but it has lost income from this work, as many childcare centers are shut down and demand for kupuna meals has doubled.

For details about Hui No Ke Ola Pono’s services, visit HNKOP.org.

Grant funding will support the work the Maui Food Bank is doing throughout Maui County during this time of crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the food, primarily produce, is sourced locally.

For details about Maui Food Bank’s distribution days and times, visit MauiFoodBank.org/Food-Distribution-Sites.