Helping The Foodbank Feed Folks

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - April 19, 2006
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There was a break in the rain that had been pounding us for what seemed an eternity, but the air was still sticky and saturated, and the grass was squishy under our feet. Lara Grimm from the Hawaii Foodbank and I walked toward a young woman sitting on the sidewalk. There was a pretty little girl by her side.

“Ready?’ Lara asked. The woman nodded. The little girl, Sachrina, took my hand as we walked into the big gymnasium where volunteers were piling food and other goods on folding tables.

I was there to take a look at the Foodbank’s twice-a-month food distribution at Kuhio Park Terrace, public housing for low-income families. Sachrina, another little girl named Lehualei and their moms took a brief time out to meet with me, but they could only spare a few minutes. There was a long line snaking around the gym by now, and each person was assigned a number. The moms were clearly nervous that if they took too long they would miss their opportunity to fill their plastic bags with food. So Lara took our pictures and off they went to take their place in line.

I walked around the room, passing the produce section where volunteers were picking through and separating brown or badly spotted fruits and vegetables. On another table were stacks of canned goods, and further on down were cartons of sanitizing wipes. There was a table loaded with candy - hey, not too good for the teeth or the body! But the last table was piled high with bread.

All this food for families who can barely afford the necessities came from the Hawaii Foodbank. Sachrina and Lehualei would not go to bed hungry. But we have many children out in our state, many parents having to make choices between paying rent and buying food. Hawaii is a tough place to make a living, and more people are finding themselves insecure and stressed, not sure what tomorrow will bring. Hunger is not such a far-fetched possibility for them.

I’d like to remind you that there is a way you can help. It’s easy and doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. This Saturday is the annual food drive for the Hawaii Foodbank. I’ve watched the Foodbank help thousands of families over the years, but I’ve also watched as the need for its services have grown. Our economy may be booming, but a lot of folks haven’t been able to secure a seat of the gravy train. In fact, more folks are finding themselves falling behind.

If you have a few bucks to spare, please drop off a donation at one several sites around the island. If you have canned goods to give, we’ll be out there to pick them up from you. You don’t have to break the bank, just clean out your pantry or buy some bags of rice. Every person on these islands is connected to everyone else. If we allow children to go hungry it affects them today and it endangers their future. That hurts all of us.

So please, if you can make it to a drop off site on Saturday, swing by. I’ll be at Restaurant Row. It’ll be very nice to see you there.

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