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Support Maui County charities

By Staff | Apr 16, 2021

It’s a critical time to support Maui Food Bank and charities that help the needy in our county.

In a recent mailing, Maui Food Bank explained that there are many hungry children in Maui County who need help right now.

“They’re from families who were hit hard by last year’s crisis. Since then, there hasn’t been very much food at home, and hunger has become a heartbreaking new part of their lives,” wrote Maui Food Bank Executive Director Richard Yust.

His claim is backed up by a recent study by the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Social Sciences.

“Addressing Hunger and Food Insecurity among Hawai’i’s Families” found that 48 percent of Hawaii families with children are experiencing food insecurity, with 15 percent reporting that they did not have enough food in the past week.

Food insecure households are defined as those lacking enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.

The impacts have been greater for low-income families, those with less formal education, certain racial/ethnic groups and families who live in rural areas. Around 76 percent of families that reported very low food security had lost employment income due to COVID-19.

Six primary barriers to accessing services and food security were identified. They are: a lack of public awareness of available services; the stigma and embarrassment associated with needing assistance; the differing needs and contexts by impacted families, resulting in an ineffective one-size-fits-all approach to services; transportation barriers; housing insecurity; and the lack of a coordinated statewide plan for addressing food insecurity.

It’s clear that charities may need to expand outreach efforts to help the needy.

With Maui reopened and many people back to work, residents and businesses should resume donations and programs to support Maui Food Bank and other vital charities.

Yust concluded, “Please give today to bring food — and hope — back into their lives.”