Little bit goes long way to help Hawaii’s hungry
The Hawaii Foodbank will begin its annual food drive tomorrow.
Fuel costs and demand continue to push the price of food higher across the nation and world. Hawaii, which imports 80 percent of its edibles, has seen grocery bills rise nearly 6 percent through 2007 and even more this year.
A half-gallon of milk that cost $3.99 now sells for $5 or more. Fruits, like green grapes, have gone up almost $2 a pound and increases of $2 for a 20-pound bag of rice, the island staple, loom on the consumer horizon.
Even families with two moderately well-paid wage-earners are cutting back as inflated prices add double-digit rises to weekly food tabs at the supermarket. For people on fixed incomes or who are less fortunate, buying a meal becomes all the more difficult when housing, medicine and utility bills go up in tandem.
The pressure is evident at the Hawaii Foodbank, which reported that its supply is at the lowest it has been in about five or six years, down to less than 10 days of emergency provisions.
The organization -- which gives out canned goods and other nonperishables through charitable groups and feeds more than 131,800 people in need each year -- begins a food collection and donations drive tomorrow. The effort will continue through May at shopping centers, fire stations, businesses and restaurants throughout Hawaii, but the biggest push will be through this weekend.
Hawaii residents, who have been generous even when they themselves are feeling a financial pinch, are being asked to give again. Small contributions joined together can make a big difference in putting food on the table for the most vulnerable of our neighbors. Let's help.
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