“More families and individuals living in Maui County are being affected by the recession and the current rise in unemployment,” said Maui Food Bank (MFB) Development Director Marlene Rice. She added that due to Furlough Fridays, those who eat breakfast and lunch at school will now depend on the food bank.
MFB, a vital link between resources and empty stomachs, has already begun its annual Holiday Food Drive. Currently, MFB distributes over 5,000 pounds of food daily. The nonprofit has distributed 1.3 million pounds of food so far this year, and hopes to bring the total to 1.7 million pounds by the end of year. MFB is reaching out to those newly affected by hunger through over 100 partner agencies and programs… and the shelves are pretty bare right now. The food bank is depending on us to help.
To that end, the Maui Weekly is collecting food in a big MFB bin in our office, and we are also gathering donations of bags of food from our advertising partners who are joining us in this worthy cause. Yes, we are busy producing a newspaper each and every week, but starting a food drive is very easy to do.
There are only a few steps you need to take to begin a food drive at your business, school, place of worship, local community group or in your neighborhood. First, delegate a food drive coordinator, then set some goals—a good starting point is 10 pounds or $10 per person. Call MFB and request a food drive bin and to order free recognition cards, posters and banners to help advertise your drive and acknowledge those who donate.
MFB Executive Director Richard Yust said that these food drives are vital to the mission of the Maui Food Bank.
There are few things scarier than hunger. So when you take your keiki out to haunt the neighborhood for Halloween this year, you might want to grab some of your recycled grocery bags and trick-or-treat for tuna, too. Cans of tuna, meat, fruit and vegetables, and meals and soups with protein, cereal, rice, pasta and financial contributions are in high demand across the island.
It will take our entire island ‘ohana working together to solve the hunger problem we are facing. Your effort will help make this Halloween a little less scary for those 3,500 kids in need on Maui.