“Please, lady. I need some money for food.”
He looked disheveled, depressed and lean in body and spirit.
“I won’t buy alcohol, I promise. I’m hungry.”
I threw my plastic-purchased merchandise in the back seat of my Prius and began to search for some “real” cash. I had nothing but change. I apologized as I poured it into his hands.
He thanked me, and as I watched him walk away, his words echoed. “I’m hungry.”
The emptiness in my gut from just one day of a self-imposed diet regime causes me to throw a sulky pity party—table of one for myself. But hunger probably isn’t a day of discomfort for this man. It is a lifestyle—a diet of despair due to unemployment and homelessness, or any number of factors.
Hunger can be humbling. Even though the gentleman I encountered wasn’t so prideful that he couldn’t ask for help, you won’t see most of Maui’s hungry in parking lots begging money off of shoppers. They are homeless in encampments somewhere, or hungry at home. They could even be your newly unemployed neighbors or friends—and their children. But they aren’t going to ask you directly to put food on their table.
That’s the goal of the Maui Food Bank—to provide hunger relief for people in need.
The eight Rotary Clubs of Maui, the Airport Lions Club, Valley Isle Fellowship, the Love Project and Kings Cathedral aim to help them—with your support—by holding a Spring Food Drive for the Maui Food Bank.
On Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., you will find them posted outside Maui’s Times Market, Safeway, Foodland and Longs Drug Stores as well as Napili Market, Lahaina Farms, Pukalani Superette, Sack ’n Save in Wailuku and Whole Foods in Kahului.
The most critically needed items are rice, cereals, and canned fruits, vegetables, meats, tuna, soups and meals with protein.
We all want to help our island ‘ohana. Hawai‘i State Hospital patients on O‘ahu recently made a donation of $189 to the Hawai‘i Foodbank. The patients made their donation by pooling the small amount of stipend payments they earn from their positive incentive programs.
“We know that one way to strengthen your own growth and awareness is to help others that may be less fortunate,” said a hospital spokesperson.