Sentry Insurance Donates $100,000 to Maui United Way to Support Kaukau 4 Keiki
Sentry Insurance Foundation has donated $100,000 to Maui United Way for the Kaukau 4 Keiki winter program, which will go toward the purchase of food, distribution, and administration efforts to run the program on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.
A recent University of Hawai’i study found that “nearly half of Hawai’i families with children reported struggling to pay for meals as of March 2021,” with an estimated 54,700 children facing hunger. In Maui County, one of every five children is food insecure, according to Feeding America and the Maui Food Bank.
“As title sponsor of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, we work year-round to develop relationships with the people of Maui, our ohana (family),” said Pete McPartland, Sentry chairman of the board, president, and CEO. “Through these connections, we’ve learned that food insecurity is a stark, new reality for many children in Maui County. It’s a burden no family should have to bear. We’re grateful for this opportunity to join others in helping to provide nutritious meals for the island’s youth.”
In partnership with the USDA and DOE, Kaukau 4 Keiki was created to address the gap in food access for students. Kaukau 4 Keiki’s summer program was able to serve 600 keiki and the fall program served 1,500 children on Maui and Lānaʻi. Families will sign up to receive the food box delivery online and will be awarded boxes on a first-come, first-serve basis.
With Sentry’s donation, Kaukau 4 Keiki will run for two weeks with distributions on Saturday, Dec. 18, and Wednesday, Dec. 29. It will provide food for breakfasts and lunches for 1,500 children on Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi. Expanding to Molokaʻi has been a goal of the program since inception.
“Through our work with the United Way—including in Stevens Point, Wis., home to our company headquarters—we know that food insecurity is widespread,” said Kalynn Pempek, executive director of the Sentry Insurance Foundation. “Last year, we partnered with the Maui Food Bank to help families during the pandemic. During ongoing conversations with our island partners, we learned that childhood hunger is a growing issue. That’s why we chose to support the Kaukau 4 Keiki program. No child should go hungry, especially during the holiday season.”
The program not only supports feeding families, but also local agriculture by using healthy starches like poi and 10 pounds of fresh Maui County produce. Each box also contains milk, bread, and protein, which is delivered by a team of dozens of community members.
Maui United Way is working closely with Kaukau for Keiki’s Maui coordinator, Kaimana Brummel, to ensure that as much local produce is used to deliver the healthiest options.
“In regular times a program like this would look much different than this,” said Nicholas Winfrey, Maui United Way’s president and CPO. “Being able to ensure keiki in need have food security couldn’t have happened without the Sentry Insurance, Nuestro Futuro, and Consuelo foundations added support and trust. Being able to deliver two full weeks’ worth of breakfasts and lunches means that fewer children will go hungry this winter.”
Maui United Way will continue to serve as the fiscal agent along with community support from Mahi Pono, HFUU Hāna Chapter, Hawaii Food Service Alliance, Sensei Lānaʻi, Sustainable Molokaʻi, Maui Food Bank, Blue Zones Project Maui, Matson, Tri Isle Trucking, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort, and Maui, Molokai, and Hāna farmers.
Sentry has helped raise $2.3 million for community charities since it became title sponsor of the Tournament of Champions in 2018.