Delivering Meals With Aloha
Wednesday - August 12, 2009 Share
By Ku‘ulei Williams & Chris Chun,
We had to smile as we watched Kalani pat his full stomach and say a prayer of thanks. He had been laid off from his job recently, another victim of the economic downturn. Shortly thereafter he was evicted from his apartment in Waikiki and was forced to live on the street.
A week later, hungry and desperate, Kalani turned to Angel Network Charities in Aina Haina for assistance. His arrival coincided with an Aloha Harvest delivery, and what followed did indeed feel to him like a godsend. A meal of crispy Kentucky Fried Chicken, crab legs from Red Lobster, dessert from the Cheesecake Factory and even a cold Pepsi to wash it all down - all donated to Aloha Harvest by participating organizations.
This same miracle repeats itself countless times a day, seven days a week at more than 126 social service agencies. The faces may change - a mother and her young children at an abuse shelter, an elderly woman on a fixed income or a teenage runaway who has ended up at Hale Kipa - yet all face hunger ... until they connect to one of the many agencies served by Aloha Harvest.
Aloha Harvest is a nonprofit organization that gathers quality donated food and delivers it free of charge to more than 41,180 individuals every month. The approach is a green, common-sense and cost-effective way of taking food from places of abundance to where it is needed.
Picking up and delivering food the same day is an efficient system that keeps costs down and reduces hunger on the streets. No food warehouse expense is incurred, and all donated food, which meets strict donation guidelines, is given to charitable agencies in an equitable manner on a rotating basis.
The concept was modeled after City Harvest, a New York City organization nearly three decades old. This year Aloha Harvest celebrates its 10th anniversary with grants from the Hau’oli Mau Loa Foundation, First Hawaiian Bank, ABC Stores and Friends of Hawaii Charities (through the Sony Open). These funds will aid in continuing operations, which is often the organization’s biggest challenge.
To contribute or volunteer, contact Chris Chun or Ku’ulei Williams at 537-6945. Donations can also be made at http://www.alohaharvest.org.
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