Alexander & Baldwin Provides Grant Supporting Maui Food Bank’s Emergency Request
Alexander & Baldwin, together with its employees, has stepped forward to respond to the Maui Food Bank’s emergency request for assistance to help it address the extraordinary challenges resulting from COVID.
In addition to a Kōkua Giving grant from the company, A&B Maui employees designated the Maui Food Bank as their grantee of choice, under a special grant program commemorating the company’s 150th anniversary year. Combined, A&B’s most recent donation totals $6,500.
Community partners for over 25 years, this latest round of funding marks more than $225,000 in total grants from A&B to Maui’s largest food organization.
MFB relies heavily on the generosity of the community to stock its shelves with canned goods and pantry items and to provide financial donations for the purchase of fresh local produce. With the pandemic, food drives have been halted while, at the same time, the demand for food has grown due to the weakened economy. MFB is typically the beneficiary of over 1,000 food collection events, large and small, each year.
“Since March, we have been unable to conduct important drives and have seen a significant decrease in retail food donations. The need for food has more than tripled and we are now helping an average of 37,000 people per month,” said Rich Yust, Maui Food Bank’s Executive Director. “A&B and many of its Maui ‘ohana of employees have been important supporters of the Maui Food Bank since 1994 – the year we were founded. When we’ve needed help, they have consistently responded to us and those in need on Maui.”
Upon learning of MFB’s urgent status, twenty A&B employees from Kahului Trucking & Storage and its Kahului office designated $150 each through the company’s Kokua 150 charitable program, generating $3,000 for MFB. Funded by the company and made in employees’ names, the grant program commemorates the company’s founding on Maui 150 years ago. Kokua 150 is a keystone of A&B’s milestone year, allowing employees to support the nonprofits most important to their families through the designation of $150 grants. Throughout the pandemic, dozens of A&B employees have made donations to their local Foodbanks and other COVID food programs.
“Maui County residents have been deeply impacted by the financial effects of COVID-19 and the Maui Food Bank is experiencing a related demand for food and funding. Our KT&S employees have a long history of helping the food bank, collecting thousands of pounds of food over the decades. We are all Maui residents, helping our neighbors in need,” said Vice President, Maui, Carol Reimann. “A&B has directed much of its 2020 Kokua Giving charitable funds to help nonprofits on the frontlines of the pandemic on Maui and across Hawaii. We are grateful for the steadfast commitment of our hundreds of trusted nonprofit partners, and our employees whose generosity has been a constant.”
Alexander & Baldwin has granted over $210,000 to Hawaii nonprofits supporting COVID-19 relief. Maui non-profit beneficiaries represent a range of critical needs, helping to keep Maui residents—keiki to kupuna—housed, fed, and healthy. Monies were provided for emergency rental assistance and financial counseling, kupuna and family meals, and an improved site for COVID-19 symptom screening at a local senior care home.
Other Maui County A&B COVID-19 grant recipients include Maui United Way, Hale Mahaolu; Hale Makua; Kaunoa Senior Services; Maui Economic Opportunity; and Molokai’s Friendly Island United Way. In addition, A&B is continuing support of decades-long community, educational and cultural programs such as the Maui Interscholastic League’sSports Spotlight program, A&B Sugar Museum’s educational program and Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s CanDo! Days.