Updated: November 23, 2022
West Maui-based Nā Hoaloha ʻEkolu, a restaurant group that includes Old Lahaina Lu‘au, Star Noodle and Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop, held its annual employee-driven school supply drive to help back-to-school efforts for schools in need.
During the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Antoinette Palisbo and Audrey Kaneshiro organized this year’s Nā Hoaloha ʻEkoluhas supply drive that distributed:
- nine air conditioning units and a clean-air system to Lahainaluna High School
- 20 new edition dictionaries, Locals slippers, school supply kits and sanitizing supply kits to Hana High and Elementary School
- Locals slippers, school supply kits and sanitizing supply kits to Molokaʻi Schools — Maunaloa Elementary, Kaunakakai Elementary, Kilohana Elementary and Kualapuu Charter School. All Molokaʻi donations are made possible by helicopter charter company, Air Maui.
“The last few years we’ve tried to target the underserved communities of Molokaʻi and Hana as well as our own Lahainaluna High School,” said Judee Mae Aki, Nā Hoaloha ʻEkolu General Manager and a Lahainaluna graduate.
Kawika Freitas, the company’s Community and Cultural Relations Director, said: “We reached out to the specific schools to find out their most critical needs this year. Everyone in our community is under a lot of stress these days. … It feels good to do something positive to try to bring people together during these tough times.”
School supply kits include crayons, coloring pencils, composition books and color markers. Sanitizing supply kits include sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer donated from 100% Kama‘aina, masks, digital thermometers and markers.
Nā Hoaloha ʻEkolu has been holding its school supply drive for more than 10 years.