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Public-Private Partnership Puts $230,000 Toward Meals for Maui’s Newly Unemployed

Maui Food Bank. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino today announced a public-private partnership to provide food assistance to recently unemployed individuals and those in need impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The County of Maui matched a $115,000 donation from the Hawai‘i Resilience Fund at the Hawai‘i 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, Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i.

The Bank of Hawaii Foundation donated $3 million to the Hawai‘i Resilience Fund at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation to address the growing social and economic impacts of COVID‑19 in Hawai‘i. 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 nonprofits, Bank of Hawai‘i Foundation and the Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i 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, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i,” 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 Hawaiʻi 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 Kāne, CEO and president of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. 

The three nonprofits will use deploy the funding in the following ways: 

Feed My Sheep

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 Kīhei (weekly), and Hana (monthly). 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

Hui No Ke Ola Pono is a Native Hawaiian Health Care System clinic that will produce 200 meals per day for kūpuna on Maui over a span of 10 weeks by utilizing their commercial kitchen. The organization typically provides meals for preschools, daycares and kūpuna but has lost income from this work as many childcare centers are shut down and demand for kūpuna meals has doubled. For details about Hui No Ke Ola Pono’s services, visit: HNKOP.org

Maui Food Bank

Grant funding will support the work the 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

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2020/06/12/public-private-partnership-puts-230000-toward-meals-for-mauis-newly-unemployed/

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