Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i Grants Aim to Address Food Insecurity on Maui
Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi has awarded a total of $145,000 in grant funding to two organizations on Maui working to feed individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, Maui County experienced the highest unemployment rate in the state, underscoring the damaging socioeconomic impact COVID-19 has had on a county heavily reliant on tourism.
Maui Food Bank, which went from serving 10,000 people a month to 48,000 people a month at the height of the pandemic, will receive $50,000 for their Fresh4All food purchase program. Funds will go towards purchasing enough local produce and protein to distribute to the working poor, children and youth, seniors on fixed incomes, and the homeless.
Hui No Ke Ola Pono will receive $95,000 to continue their Hānai Aku, Hānai Mai – Feed and Be Fed produce box distribution program in 2021. The initiative will provide 150 produce boxes a month to families in the Native Hawaiian community on Maui. Recipes and information on stress management, exercise, and diabetes education will also be included. HNKOP’s ultimate goal is for participants of Hānai Aku, Hānai Mai to utilize HNKOP’s services and programs on a regular basis.
“Now more than ever, it is our responsibility as health care providers to extend our care to the communities that need it most,” said Greg Christian president, Hawaiʻi Market Kaiser Permanente, Health Plan and Hospitals. “Our hope is that this funding will keep local families nourished in the near term, and provide resources that will allow them to thrive in the long term.”
This set of grants is the latest in a series of contributions from Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi to help residents throughout the state receive vital support services in response to the socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last 12 months, the health care organization has gifted over $2 million in current or planned grants to nonprofits serving communities across Hawaiʻi, and has hosted 16 community support events including food distributions that have provided over 280,000 pounds of food to more than 7,000 local families.