Maui United Way approves $150K in emergency funding to address unmet food needs for wildfire impacted families

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PC: courtesy Maui United Way

Maui United Way has stepped in to provide emergency stop-gap funding to a hui of organizations led by Common Ground Collective (CGC) dedicated to feeding vulnerable fire-impacted families on Maui’s West Side while also providing a boost to local farmers.

Common Ground Collective’s Maui Fire Relief Feeding program is a collaborative effort involving multiple organizations, including Hungry Heroes Hawaiʻi, Hua Momona Foundation, and the Westside Community Resource Hubs (Nāpili Noho and Pōhaku Park Hubs). Together, these organizations are dedicated to supporting the feeding needs of fire survivors who face challenges accessing meals in the aftermath of the devastating Maui fires.

The Maui Fire Relief Feeding program consists of two parts:

  1. Meal Provision for Non-Congregate Shelter (NCS) Program Participants: This part of the program serves 121 individuals with prepped and packaged meals who rely on the NCS program for dinner but lack transportation to access other meals.
  2. Community Feeding Initiative: This initiative supports approximately 11,105 fire-impacted individuals monthly, supplying produce, non-perishable items, and other essentials to those in need.

“The Maui Fire Relief Feeding program exemplifies the power of collaboration and community support in times of crisis. Through the collective efforts of CGC and its partners, essential food assistance is being provided to fire survivors, ensuring they receive the support they need during this challenging period,” said Maui United Way Board Chair, Shanda Vangas.

“The need for food assistance in the wake of the Maui fires has been significant and enduring, especially with the reduction of feeding services by other players. The sudden scaling back of these services left a gap that our community has been desperately working to address. I am grateful to the Maui United Way Board of Directors for moving quickly to help fill the puka so families can continue to have access to nutritious, culturally appropriate meals grown by Maui farmers,” said Jennifer Karaca, Founding Executive Director Common Ground Collective.

“For years, Common Ground Collective has been a steadfast partner of Maui United Way.Previous grants since the fires have helped CGC and its huiallowed them to serve over 230,000hot meals, 15,000 food boxes and deliver hundreds of thousands of pounds of food items to westside hubs daily, including fresh produce and proteins from local growers and suppliers,” said Makana Rosete, Community Impact Coordinator for Maui United Way.


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