Maui’s Paddle for Hunger To Support Maui Food Bank Goes Virtual Nov. 19-25

November 17, 2020, 11:00 AM HST · Updated November 17, 10:24 AM
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Paddle for Hunger will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2017 archive photo courtesy: Hawaiian Paddle Sports

For years, hundreds of paddlers have gathered on Thanksgiving mornings to help Maui’s families in need and celebrate the aloha in Maui’s paddling community during the annual Paddle For Hunger event that supports the Maui Food Bank.

This year, Paddle For Hunger, organized by Hawaiian Paddle Sports, will be virtual out of an abundance of caution due to Covid-19.

“We wanted to keep the spirit of Paddle For Hunger alive, and continue to support the Maui Food Bank,” said Timothy Lara, owner of Hawaiian Paddle Sports. “The virtual Paddle For Hunger is an easy way to give back and support a family in need this holiday season.”

Marlene Rice, executive director of the Maui Food Bank, said: “Paddle For Hunger is one of our biggest fundraising events of the year, so we are grateful to Hawaiian Paddle Sports and the paddling community for continuing it virtually, especially during this year of increased food insecurity on Maui.”

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Throughout Thanksgiving week, participants are encouraged to donate to Maui Food Bank, then paddle via outrigger canoe, V1, surfski, paddle board, surfboard or any floating device. Then record their time, GPS course and/or take photos of their “Paddle For Hunger” for bragging rights.

Pictures can be posted to Instagram or Facebook tagging @MauiFoodBank @HawaiianPaddleSports with the hashtag #Paddle4Hunger2020 to get re-shared. The photos also can be posted directly to the Paddle For Hunger 2020 Facebook event page.

The race course is typically Kīhei Canoe Club to Kealia Pond River Mouth/Pavilion and back to Kīhei Canoe Club Pier. Or for the short course, turn early, anywhere, no shame.

If participants can’t make it to the race course, they can choose their favorite location and take their photo from there. (It is advised to avoid Kīhei Canoe Club on Thanksgiving morning because they have a club practice.)

Maui Food Bank is in need of financial donations and seeking food donations, including canned goods (like tuna, meats, fruits, vegetables, meals and soups with protein), cereal, rice and pasta. Items can be dropped in any Maui Food Bank collection bin around town. Financial donations are accepted online.

In the last three years alone (2017-2019), Hawaiian Paddle Sports, with the help of Maui’s generous community, sponsors and paddling ‘ohana, raised more than $27,000 and 3,200 pounds of food for Maui Food Bank. That was enough to provide 115,848 meals for needy families in Maui County.

For more information on Paddle For Hunger 2020, and to donate, visit www.paddleforhunger.com.

Paddle For Hunger is organized by Hawaiian Paddle Sports as part of its Mālama Maui community give back program. To learn more, visit www.HawaiianPaddleSports.com/Malama-Maui.

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