Food drive planned Saturday
The food bank says major disasters have hurt local donations
The Hawaii Foodbank hopes to collect 550,000 pounds of food and $425,000 Saturday during its 17th annual food drive to feed those in need.
The nonprofit agency wants to feed 131,000 people this year.
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The Hawaii Foodbank:
» Has been helping to feed the hungry for 21 years.
» Collects and distributes mass quantities of perishable and nonperishable foods, averaging 681,731 pounds a month throughout the state.
» Provides more than 1 million pounds of fresh produce through the Ohana Produce program to partner agencies on Oahu for community distribution.
The Hawaii Foodbank can be reached at 836-3600 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For emergency food assistance, call 211. Visit its Web site at www.hawaii foodbank.org.
Food donations are down by 9 percent because four major catastrophe-relief projects have put a strain on donors, according to a Lori Kaya, Hawaii Foodbank communications director. They were the South Asian tsunami in 2004, and the Gulf Coast hurricanes (Katrina, Rita and Wilma) from August through October 2005.
Last year, 8.2 million pounds of food were distributed through the 250 member agencies on Oahu, including more than 600,000 pounds shipped to neighbor island food banks.
On Maui, Kihei resident Bob Douglas has already donated a ton of rice to the Maui Food Bank and has issued a challenge to others to match his donation, according to Kaya. Douglas has donated 3,000 pounds of rice to the food bank in the past.
Money tops the list of needed donations. One dollar allows the food bank to distribute $20 worth of food, paying for such things as the trucks needed to collect and redistribute food, the cost of sorting and inspecting donated food and warehouse storage, she said.
The food items most in demand include canned items such as meat or tuna, meals (spaghetti, chili, corned beef hash, etc.), soups, vegetables, fruits and beans.
Special events with donation collection will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at over a dozen locations on Oahu, including Restaurant Row, Koko Marina Center, McCully Shopping Center, Pearl City Shopping Center, Town Center of Mililani, Waianae Mall Shopping Center, Waiokeola Congregational Church in Kahala, Windward City Shopping Center and various military locations.
All Oahu fire stations will be accepting nonperishable food donations every day through April 28 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Ruby Tuesday restaurants are year-round collection sites for nonperishable food. Call 943-2525 for opening hours at the Ala Moana restaurant and 623-4949 at Town Center of Mililani.
First Hawaiian Bank branches are also accepting food and monetary donations now through May 19.
Besides First Hawaiian, sponsors include KGMB 9, KSSK and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.