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Make donations to help end hunger

By Staff | Sep 3, 2021

All through September, when you visit your local Safeway store on Maui, you’ll see signs announcing the annual Nourishing Neighbors fundraiser.

In the campaign sponsored by the Safeway Foundation and supported by the Food Research and Action Center, donations at Valley Isle Safeway locations will go to the Maui Food Bank.

Nourishing Neighbors will help raise funds to further the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice’s work to end hunger in Hawaii.

“This year, funds will be used to expand school breakfast participation, building on the grab-and-go model Appleseed has been a proponent of and which was already expanded out of necessity due to the pandemic,” explained Communications Director Will Caron.

According to the Food Research and Action Center’s 2021 School Breakfast Scorecard, only 25,559 low-income children in Hawaii participated in the national School Breakfast Program on an average school day during the 2019-20 school year.

That’s about 40 percent of those who receive free or reduced-price lunch. This compares to a national rate of 58.4 percent, placing Hawaii at 50th in the nation for participation in this important program.

“Parents often don’t realize that breakfast is available through their child’s school,” said Daniela Spoto, Hawaii Appleseed director of Anti-Hunger Initiatives. “Even families that are financially stable often have such busy schedules that they find it challenging to prepare a good, balanced breakfast in the morning. And data shows us that students who skip breakfast have a harder time learning.”

This year, national waivers have made it possible for all Hawaii public schools (and many charter schools) to serve free meals to all students — a tremendous opportunity for expanding participation in the breakfast program.

Spoto added, “With 100 percent free meals this year, we’re hopeful that we can continue to work with the DOE to re-imagine how breakfast is served at school, making it easier and more convenient for as many students as possible.”

Support this effort to help end hunger in Hawaii, at a chaotic time when many families are struggling.