HONOLULU (KHON2) – Whole Food Market is dishing out a new program to keep Oahu residents from going hungry amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

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To kick off Hunger Action Month, Whole Foods created the Nourishing Our Neighborhoods program.

“It’s a funding redistribution program that has the capacity to provide 20,000 pounds of food per week to Honolulu residents in need,” said Annalee England, Whole Foods Market Queen Store team leader.

Whole Foods is providing Aloha Harvest, the state’s largest food rescue and redistribution program, a brand new refrigerated van to add to their fleet.

The vehicle will pick up fresh goods from Whole Foods stores and distribute it throughout the community.

“Over the expected 10 year lifetime of the van, it has the capacity to provide over 10 million pounds of food to our residents,” said England.

Aloha Harvest says with the ongoing pandemic, this generous gift could not have come at a better time.

“Before COVID-19, we would assist anywhere from 50 to 60 different individuals on a monthly basis,” said Phil Acosta the Executive Director of Aloha Harvest. “When COVID-19 hit, it surpassed over 100,000 people that we serve on a monthly basis.”

Aloha Harvest distributes goods through Salvation Army, The Boys and Girls Club and various community centers across Oahu.

“With the addition of the van to our fleet, we anticipate that could increase another 20,000 pounds of food that we could rescue. Not only are we able to feed that to people in need, but that’s something that we can divert from the waste stream,” said Acosta.

To receive food assistance, Oahu residents must sign up with an Aloha Harvest partnering organization.

For a list of partnering organizations and more information, click here.

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