Bank of Hawaii Serves 287,000+ Free Meals Through “Bankoh Meals-To-Go”
Today, Bank of Hawaii marks the anniversary of “Bankoh Meals-To-Go,” a program that offers its 1,700 O‘ahu employees family-style meals once a week and free of charge. Since the launch a year ago, more than 225,000 pre-packaged meals, prepared by Café Blue kitchen staff from Elite Catering & Hospitality Services, were provided to O‘ahu employees, many of whom “share it forward” by offering their meals to extended family members, neighbors, kūpuna or friends experiencing food insecurity.
Each meal serves up to four people and includes a main dish, starch and vegetables. Any meals not utilized by employees were donated to Aloha Harvest. To date, the bank has donated 8,636 pounds of food to help vulnerable members of the community.
As part of the effort, 45 Bank of Hawaii employees volunteered 1,404 hours in organizing and handing out the meals at two Oʻahu bank locations. In addition to Oʻahu, roughly 300 employees located in the bank’s Neighbor Island and West Pacific regions are also provided free meals, prepared and supported by more than 250 local restaurants.
“We feel fortunate to support our employees and their ‘ohana, our community and the local economy during such a challenging time,” said Peter Ho, chairman, president and CEO of Bank of Hawaii. “As we look toward recovery, Bank of Hawaii remains committed to our employees, our community and working together to address some of the hardships of the pandemic.”
“There are some generous acts of kindness happening, including about a dozen employees from our Information Technology division who, since the very beginning, decided to hui together and share their collective meals each week with the staff at different condo buildings,” said Momi Akimseu, president of Bank of Hawaii Foundation. “Others drop off meals to those in nursing homes, or help out single mothers or neighbors in need.”
Food insecurity brought on by soaring joblessness quickly emerged as one of the most immediate problems at the onset of the pandemic. In April 2020, Bank of Hawaii Foundation donated an unprecedented $3 million to Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund to address the growing social and economic impacts of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. The donation included $1 million to help feed and nourish the community.