HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Food distribution events continue across the state as the need for assistance remains high among families hit hard by the economic downturn.
On Oahu, Kaiser Permanente teamed up with UNITE Here! Local 5 to feed more than 500 families in Waipio on Sunday.
Each family received a box of produce and meat. The union says 98 percent of its members are out of work because of the pandemic.
“This pandemic has not only been a health crisis, but it’s also been an economic crisis and so many of the people in our communities right now are really hurting,” Chris Hause of Kaiser Permanente said.
“A lot of people are feeling anxiety. They’re having a hard time making the rent, they’re having a hard time purchasing food and we’re very thankful to Kaiser for getting this food,” added Daniel Kerwin of the union said.
In all, Kaiser says about 70 volunteers helped out with the effort.
The event was facilitated by Ham Produce and Seafood with funding from the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
Earlier in the morning on Kauai, motorcyclists came together for a food drive to benefit the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai branch. During the they drive, they also remembered a fallen member of their community known for giving back.
Dozens showed up at the historic County Building in Lihue around 9 a.m.
Organizers say the event honored the work of Russell Haluapo, who died earlier in the month.
“Russell was one of our volunteers who worked tirelessly to help feed the community and I miss him so much,” Michelle Panoke of the Hawaii Foodbank Kauai said.
By the end of the event, they were able to raise $1,400 and over a thousand pounds of food.
The bikers then went on a scenic ride around Kauai.