For 27 years, The Food Basket has served the Big Island community as the only food bank providing emergency hunger relief. But to maintain delivery operations, the company is seeking the public's help to raise funds to replace aging fleet vehicles.
Five vehicles currently serve as the company's primary source of food transportation. Four of those are not equipped with proper refrigeration and maintenance cost for the vehicles are rising.
“Our vehicles are the workhorses of The Food Basket,” En Young, Executive Director of The Food Basket said. “We don’t produce food. We collect it and get it out to where it needs to be."
The new vehicles are projected to cost around $150,000. The company hopes crowdfunding will help them reach the goal by July 31 to get the vehicles in use by the end of the year.
This is a part of the company's 'New Year, New Wheels' campaign.
In 2016, The Food Basket picked up and delivered over 1.4 million pounds of food on the Big Island. In total, they covered about 130,000 "food miles".
“In West Hawai`i, we deal with not only high temperature elements, but also far distances between neighboring towns,” said Marshall Akamu, West and North Hawai`i Operations Manager. “It’s difficult to make these types of trips within our community without the certainty of reliable vehicles.”