Hawaii Foodbank ‘dangerously low' on food supply

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – With Easter only a few days away and families around the state preparing for a Sunday feast, the Hawaii Foodbank is seeking to make sure that everyone –including those less fortunate—has a reason to celebrate.

The Foodbank usually tries to stock themselves with about 20 days worth of food to help distribute to churches and other community centers. Lately, though, the shelves at the Foodbank have become progressively lighter, and the group says they were down to only 8 days worth of meals at one point.

Sherri Shimamoto comes to the Foodbank from New Hope in Kapolei three or four times a month to help gather food to feed families in her community. Shimamoto, like many others, is concerned about what will happen if the Foodbank runs out.

"How do we provide for the families out there when their shelves are empty in here?" Shimamoto said.

Shimamoto's church is one of the 250 member organizations that depend on the warehouse at the Hawaii Foodbank to help feed their communities.

All together, that's a lot of hungry people.

"Every single day, over 55,000 children need our help," said Kim Bartenstein, the Foodbank's Food Drive Manager. "183,000 islanders a year need our help. The canned goods we need are so crucial to helping those people get fed."

The Foodbank is asking for donations from the public, saying they need things like canned meats, fruits and veggies and meals like spaghetti and canned soups. Dick Grimm, President of the Hawaii Foodbank, says the Foodbank needs Hawaii's help more than ever.

"A good indicator is the amount of food we've had to purchase," said Grimm. "At this time last year, we had purchased 1.3 million pounds of food. Right now we're at 2.6 million pounds of food. So the demand is there and we just can't fill it here by getting food donations."

Grimm continued, saying that by supporting the Foodbank, you're "supporting your ohana. You're supporting the islands. You're supporting the people next door."

If you want to be a part of the solution, Hawaii News Now has a way you can help. Join us during the Hawaii Foodbank's island-wide food drive at Waterfront Plaza. Bring your canned goods and monetary donations, and don't forget to check out the dunking booth, where you try your hand at sinking your favorite Hawaii News Now TV personality!

Other donation sites on Oahu include: Koko Marina Center, McCully Shopping Center, Pearl City Shopping Center, Pearl Highlands Center, Town Center of Mililani, Various Military Locations, Waianae Mall Shopping Center, Waiokeola Congregational Church in Kahala, and at Windward City Shopping Center.

For information on how else you can donate to the Foodbank, or to check out donation sites on the outer islands, head over to www.hawaiifoodbank.org or call -808-933-6030.

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