Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary Alliance starts Kokua Fund for Maui displaced hospitality workers

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Longtime friends and chefs Roy Yamaguchi, Dean Fearing and Alan Wong at Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival. (File photo)

Wildfire updates (for Saturday Aug. 12): HERE.

Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary Alliance will reinstate the Kokua Restaurant and Hospitality Fund for Maui to provide immediate assistance to the dedicated restaurant, bar and hospitality workers who have been displaced by the recent catastrophic wildfires that have devastated West Maui communities from Lāhainā to Kapalua, a cherished home of the renowned Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival.

In the wake of the heartbreaking loss and disruption caused by the wildfires this week, Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary Alliance stands in solidarity with the affected individuals and their families and is committed to supporting the island’s recovery.

(PC: Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival website)

The Kokua Restaurant and Hospitality Fund for Maui will channel resources directly to support culinary, restaurant and tourism workers in West Maui who have been impacted most severely.
The organization is also working with World Central Kitchen and their partners on the ground, Chef Hui, to feed communities affected by the Maui wildfires.

World Central Kitchen, founded by chef and humanitarian José Andrés, and Chef Hui, led by local chef Mark Noguchi, have a proven track record of providing immediate relief and support during times of crisis.

“By launching the Kokua Restaurant & Hospitality Fund for Maui, we are extending a lifeline to those hardworking individuals who have played a vital role in shaping Maui’s vibrant culinary scene and tourism industry,” said Denise Yamaguchi, CEO of Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary


The Fund offers two impactful ways for individuals and organizations to contribute to the recovery efforts:

1. General Kokua Fund: Donations made to this fund will be distributed among restaurants and hospitality employers, ensuring a broad spectrum of restaurant, bar and hospitality workers receive the vital support they urgently need. In addition, funds will support the culinary community on the ground who are feeding others impacted by the fires.

2. Designate a Restaurant or Hospitality Employer: Alternatively, individuals may choose to contribute to a specific restaurant or hospitality employer located between Lāhainā and Kapalua to go directly to support their staff. If the designated employer cannot deploy the funds to their employees for any reason, the funds will revert to the General Kokua Fund.


Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary Alliance is unwavering in its commitment to ensure that every dollar
donated reaches its intended recipients. No administrative fees will be deducted, guaranteeing that the entirety of the contributions directly support those in need.

“The outpouring of support worldwide from our incredible Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival chef community, partners and the broader hospitality industry has been nothing short of inspiring. We have received messages of solidarity and offers of help from all corners of the globe, and it truly underscores the strength and unity that define our culinary family,” said Chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, co-chairs of Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary Alliance, in a joint statement.

To donate to the Kokua Restaurant & Hospitality Fund for Maui, visit www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com. Follow Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival on Instagram
@HIFoodWineFest and Facebook at @HawaiiFoodandWineFestival for more information. Hawai‘i Ag and Culinary Alliance dba Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN46-0618609).

Contributions are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. Individuals are instructed to consult their tax advisor to determine the tax benefits for their donation.


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