HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - From its new location in Kalihi, Feeding Hawaii Together is distributing free food to a growing number of people who have registered with the non-profit for assistance.
Lellani Dalton drove in from Pearl City to get her order after learning about the agency from her mother-in-law.
“We placed our order online. We got the email,” she said.
Feeding Hawaii Together closed in 2016 after the building it leased in Kakaako was sold. Through a grant and other assistance, it just reopened at 2522 Rose Street with a different distribution method.
They’re serving people again at a time when the need for assistance is significant — and growing.
“Right now we do exclusively walk-through and drive-thru systems. Everyone is able to maintain that six feet social distance,” executive director Jennine Sullivan said.
The warehouse is called The Pantry.
“This is a 13,000 square-foot facility and it’s about three times larger than our last facility in Kakaako,” Sullivan said, adding the non-profit’s goal is to eliminate food insecurity on Oahu by 2025.
It anticipates a big demand for food with so many people now unemployed and the economy suffering because of the state’s coronavirus shutdown.
"We have lots of space for social distancing which keeps our volunteers safe. It keeps our community safe. It's something that's utmost priority during this uncertain time for us," Sullivan said.
To register and place orders, head to Feeding Hawaii Together’s website.
Families can shop once a week. Food options will be added as time goes on.
“Hopefully, next week, we’ll be able to work with different communities including the Hawaii Foodbank to get fresh produce, to get frozen goods, and really diversify what our clients can come in and get,” Sullivan said.
At its old location Feeding Hawaii Together distributed 3 million pounds of food a year.
Sullivan said being located in Kalihi has advantages.
"We're right off the freeway. We think it gives great access not only to our immediate neighborhoods but also for those that are coming in from different areas of Oahu," she said.
The Pantry is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
For more information, call Feeding Hawaii Together at 888-0778.