Skip to content

Hunger Blog

Food Unaccompanied by a Voice; a Door Always Open

Hawaii Foodbank #RiseResiliently

"He ‘ai ‘ole, he ‘īpuka hāmama."

— Food unaccompanied by a voice; a door always open.​

The Hawaiian proverb above is from ‘Ōlelo No‘eau, and it describes the home of a hospitable person. In this home, the food can be eaten without hearing a complaint from the owners, and the door is never closed to any visitor. At Hawaii Foodbank, it’s a sentiment we hold dear to our mission — and it’s relevant now more than ever.

Since the beginning of the year, COVID-19 has created anxiety, doubt and fear of the unknown. But at Hawaii Foodbank, the door remains open — and our community’s aloha shines through.

The Growing Need

COVID-19 has brought on many changes to how we all operate daily, and the effects of the pandemic continue to impact more and more members of our community. Campuses are closed for the school year; restaurants and businesses prepare for a long road to recovery; and countless workers face the reality of layoffs, furloughs and missed paychecks.

The result — many families find themselves turning to Hawaii Foodbank for the first time in their lives.

Since the onset of the pandemic, demand for food assistance in Hawaii has increased by more than 60 percent — and that number continues to rise. Hawaii Foodbank now faces the unprecedented challenge of providing food for those affected by COVID-19 while continuing to support the 1 in 8 Hawaii residents already struggling with hunger.

It’s an ominous task, but we remain undaunted in our role as Hawaii’s leading hunger relief organization — and it’s because of our community’s steadfast support.

Collective Kōkua

It’s now been more than two months since Hawaii’s first positive case of COVID-19, and we’ve taken many steps to increase capacity and maintain the flow of food to those in need. With each step, our dedicated volunteers and food partner agencies have pivoted alongside us — without complaint. Similarly, countless more businesses, organizations and individuals have reached out with an upsurge in support.

This collective kōkua allows us to remain swift in our daily response to hunger, and we’re proud to share a closer look at the impact of our community’s support:

  • We’ve implemented new distribution methods like prepacking emergency food boxes and implementing “drive-through” pick-ups. This allows us to serve large quantities of people more efficiently while also maintaining social distance.
  • We’re cultivating new partnerships with Hawaii Farm Bureau, the Hawaii Longline Association and others. These initiatives will provide immediate support to local farmers, ranchers and fishermen while also distributing healthy food products to the communities we serve.
  • To help provide food assistance to recently unemployed individuals and families in need, we’re collaborating with the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii Community Foundation’s Hawaii Resilience Fund and Bank of Hawaii Foundation to deploy several large-scale “Food for Hawaii’s ‘Ohana” distributions. Each distribution provides food for approximately 4,000 households.
  • Thanks to the help of our community, these strategies aren’t just options for vulnerable keiki, kūpuna and families in need — they’re vital sustenance.

A Door Always Open

"At Hawaii Foodbank, the door remains open — and our community's aloha shines through."

Our community is no stranger to adversity. We’ve seen it before — from Hurricane Iniki and Kīlauea’s eruption to last year’s government shutdown and everything in between. Each time, one thing has alway emerged stronger than any amount of devastation — Hawaii’s strength.

As our mission states — the people of Hawaii are one ‘ohana. And in our family, we always keep the door open for one other. Today is no different, and neither will tomorrow.

Amidst adversity, our community’s aloha always shines through. It has been humbling to witness, and it inspires us to keep going. It’s proven more than a light that shines through our open door; it’s the framework that holds us up altogether.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur Excepteur sint occaecat. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur Excepteur sint occaecat.

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.”

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur Excepteur sint occaecat.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur Excepteur sint occaecat. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Sign Up for Email Updates

Submit the form below to receive email messages from Hawaii Foodbank. You’ll get the latest news updates, event information, volunteer opportunities, stories from our communities and much more.