Eight Valley Isle Rotary clubs and nearly 60 volunteers took part in collecting 9,682 pounds of food and $6,966 for the Maui Food Bank during the "Rotary Gives Thanks" food drives the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.
"For all the Rotary Club members, I want to thank you for your commitment over the weekend to support the needs of the Maui Food Bank, and more importantly, the community on Maui," said MFB Director of Development Marlene Rice. "More than ever before, working poor families, seniors on fixed incomes and single parents are relying on the Maui Food Bank just to make it month to month. Because of folks like the Rotary clubs who share our vision, we are able to make sure that no one in our island 'ohana goes to bed hungry."
Way to go, Rotarians! But during the holidays, almost the same amount of food the Rotary clubs collected in that one weekend goes out the door of the Maui Food Bank each day.
In a phone conversation with Marlene last week, she reiterated the need for the most-needed items, which we should all know by heart by now-financial contributions, canned meat and tuna, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals and soups with protein, cereal, rice and pasta.
In addition, the nonprofit, which reaches out to those newly affected by hunger through over 100 partner agencies and programs, has received a special request list from some of these agencies that includes holiday foods that go beyond survival sustenance items-ham, and canned green beans, fruit, stuffing and pie filling (cherry and apple)-in that order. Don't forget the healthier choice options-hold the salt and the sugar as much as possible.
So while you're making a list for your own Christmas dinner, check it twice and be sure to add extra holiday items for the members of our Maui 'ohana who are in need, because hunger never takes a holiday.
Drop off your dough and food donations at any American Savings Bank, Maui County fire stations and Maui Food Bank holiday food drive locations-like right here at the Maui Weekly office located in South Shore Plaza, 411 Huku Li'i Place, Ste. 303, in Kihei. The Maui Food Bank on 760 Kolu St. in Wailuku accepts direct donations and is the only location that accepts fresh produce and dairy items.
For more information about the Maui Food Bank, call 243-9500 or visit www.mauifoodbank.org.
For more information about Maui's Rotary clubs, contact Assistant District Governors Joanne Laird at 757-0981 or Rita Barreras at 264-0491.