Food donations needed as government shutdown continues

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Today, President Trump offered limited protections for so-called “dreamers” or immigrants who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. 

That would be in exchange for his proposed border wall.

Democrats quickly rejected his offer.

Meanwhile thousands of federal workers in Hawaii are still not receiving pay checks and haven’t since the last week of December. 

As the government shutdown hits Day 29, hundreds of volunteers headed to the Hawaii Foodbank to help. 

“I’m just blown away by today’s effort,” said Hawaii Foodbank CEO Ron Mizutani.

US Senator Mazie Hirono stopped by the Hawaii Foodbank on Saturday. 

“All of the people who are here, they get it,” she said.

“This is an emergency that should have never happened. The one person who doesn’t seem to get it is the President of the United States. So when he stands there and says ‘I feel what the people are going through;’— No, because he could end this,” Sen. Hirono said. 

While no progress was made from the Capitol on Saturdya, Foodbank volunteers dropped off several donations to US Coast Guard families.

Volunteers helped pack about 300 emergency food bags that had cereal, peanut butter, soup, chips and more. The bags will be delivered to federal and TSA employees on Tuesday. 

Sen. Hirono said each person will get two bags. 

But more donations are needed. 

“We urge [people] to continue to donate,” Mizutani said. 

“Every day this shutdown continues it’s impacting more and more families,” he said. 

There are things to keep in mind when donating food, lots of donations had to be thrown out because boxes were opened, expired or had mold. 

“The community needs to know that when they donate food, it needs to be wholesome food as well, food they would eat themselves, not food they would discard at the same time,” said Jeff Vigilla, owner of Chef Point of View and Hawaii Foodbank board member. 

Businesses, farmers, even residents with fresh produce are also encouraged to donate.

The Hawaii Foodbank has had people donate ulu and coconuts. 

“Maybe some of them for the first time in their lives they’re facing hunger and facing decisions—Do I pay the rent? Do I pay the electricity? Or do I put food on the table? It’s a terrible choice to make,” Mizutani said. 

The Foodbank received a request from the Armed Services YMCA Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. They’ll receive a delivery on Thursday. 

To donate to the Foodbank, click here

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