HONOLULU (KHON) — No one should go hungry. That is the goal of the Hawaii Foodbank. Unfortunately, the organization said more Hawaii residents continue to struggle with food insecurity.
“We’re nearly two years into the (COVID-19) pandemic, and we’re seeing a 67% higher need for food than prior to the pandemic,” said Hawaii Foodbank CEO and President Amy Marvin.
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According to Marvin, one in every six Hawaii residents struggle to put food on the table.
“That’s 230,000 of our friends, family and neighbors who are at risk of hunger. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Marvin explained.
She added that food insecurity is affecting more of our island keiki.
“Another surprising statistic that not everyone knows is that in Hawaii, about 81,000 keiki struggle with hunger,” Marvin said.
Marvin said every one in four children across the islands is at risk of going hungry in 2021. It is the second-highest rate of food insecurity among children in the country.
“It’s so common, and it may be hidden. But people nowadays need to make hard choices about whether or not they can afford dinner that night. Can they pay their electricity bill or buy food? Does my kid have food? Not having the security of knowing where your next meal will come from. That’s what so many families are dealing with right now,” She said.
To mitigate the issue, the Hawaii Foodbank has partnered with several agencies and charities for the “School Pantry Program.” The program provides healthy snacks for children for the school day, with enough food to bring home to their families. Its Oahu warehouse, located in the Mapunapuna area, is full of donated food.
But Marvin said she hopes the donations will continue to pour in.
“We’re not ok with kids going hungry at night,” Marvin said.
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Those who would like to donate food or volunteer with the Hawaii Foodbank can visit their website.