Maui Business

First Hawaiian Bank Drums Up $50K to Feed Those in Need

April 28, 2020, 4:26 PM HST
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PC: First Hawaiian Bank.

First Hawaiian Bank (FHB) today announced that the “Aloha for Hawaii” campaign has contributed $50,000 to help Maui Food Bank and The Food Basket (Hawaii Island’s Food Bank) provide 50,000 meals in the community. Each food bank will receive $25,000, allowing them to provide much needed food assistance to people on Maui and the Big Island. These gifts are the result of another 50,000 restaurant takeout and delivery purchases FHB cardholders made in the past week through this initiative.

The First Hawaiian Bank Foundation donated from the Aloha for Hawaii fund $25,000 each to The Food Basket – Hawaii Island’s Food Bankand to Maui Food Bank.  With last week’s donation to Hawaii Meals on Wheels, these gifts bring the Foundation’s total contributions to $100,000 since the Aloha for Hawaii’s campaign began in mid-April.

Food banks in Hawaii are experiencing unprecedented demand due to COVID-19 with many first-time recipients looking for help due to being laid off or furloughed. In addition, with Hawaii schools closed, many neighbor island families who relied on free or subsidized school breakfasts and lunches to keep their keiki fed are now facing greater need. 

“We are truly grateful to First Hawaiian Bank for creating the Aloha for Hawaii campaign. It is having a direct and meaningful impact in the community during this difficult time,” The Food Basket Executive Director Kristin Frost Albrecht said in a press release.

“Calls for food assistance have tripled since the COVID-19 crisis began, and this donation will allow us to help over 25,000 people have enough to eat in a single month.”

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With the $25,000 donation from the Aloha for Hawaii fund, Maui Food Bank, will be able to provide 25,000 meals to people on Maui needing assistance.  The Maui Food Bank has gone from serving 10,000 people a month to 16,000 people a month seeking food assistance. In February, the Maui Food Bank distributed 208,000 pounds of food to people in need, March saw an 39% increase to 297,000 pounds of food and so far in April, demand is surpassing 414,000 pounds of food being given out.

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Maui Food Bank’s Executive Director Richard Yust said, “With the help of First Hawaiian Bank’s very generous donation, the Food Bank will be able to continue to provide safe and nutritious food for those in need of hunger relief.”  

First Hawaiian Bank’s “Aloha for Hawaii” initiative, which launched earlier in April, is a special program that offers support to Hawaii restaurants and provides up to $1 million in donations to the Aloha for Hawaii Fund, which has been established to support non-profits with food supply and health and human service programs for those impacted by COVID-19. FHB’s goal is to generate one million takeout or delivery purchases at restaurants across Hawaii, and it plans to donate up to $1 million to local nonprofits that are standing up food supply and health and human service programs that support those most at risk as a part of this initiative. FHB customers can participate by using any FHB debit or credit card to purchase a takeout or delivery meal in Hawaii, and the Bank will automatically make a donation to the Aloha for Hawaii Fund.

“Due to the pandemic, our community’s need for food assistance is greater than ever. These donations directly support the efforts of The Maui Food Bank and The Food Basket who are working to meet this increased demand for their services,” said Cameron Nekota, First Hawaiian Bank Foundation President. “With the ‘Aloha for Hawaii’ fund, we wanted to make it easy for everyone to help the restaurant industry which is also struggling, while also supporting the local nonprofits that provide food assistance to those in need. First Hawaiian Bank is determined to reach our $1 million donation goal to ensure these vital food supply programs and services can continue.”

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