Increased Demand at Maui Food Bank: How You Can Help
Our Malika Dudley interviewed Executive Director of the Maui Food Bank, Rich Yust, as increased demand for food grips our community. The organization is fully operational at this time and they are taking the necessary precautions of sanitation and social distancing.
Currently, staff is working to gather product to create boxes of food that could last an individual through a 14-day quarantine. The organization is awaiting more than $115,000 worth of orders which will be used to create the food boxes.
Yust says some restaurants that have closed are donating the surplus that they know they cannot use. The Maui Food Bank welcomes this type of donation from other restaurants.
The best way for community members to help is to donate online where a virtual food drive is ongoing. On the website you can pick out cases of food items that the food bank will then buy in bulk. Produce is also a welcome donation from community members. If your trees are fruiting and garden is producing, you can harvest your produce and drop it off at their warehouse. Sanitation measures are in place for all donations.
On the retail and wholesale side of things, donations have been slowing to the Maui Food Bank as stores struggle to keep up with their own demand and to restock shelves. Donations from these sources typically make up about 60% of the Food Bank’s inventory and that has dropped 30% since the coronavirus outbreak began. The Maui Food Bank estimates these types of donations to decrease even more in the coming days.
Molokai and Lana’i are also receiving containers of inventory from the Maui Food Bank.
For community members in need, looking to find a distribution center, please call Aloha United Way by dialing 211 or, visit the Maui Food Bank website for information on the location and times of current distributions.