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Nonprofits serve hundreds of Thanksgiving meals for Hawaii’s needy

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 4:58 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the second year in a row, the pandemic put the annual Salvation Army Thanksgiving sit down meal at the Blaisdell on hold.

But that didn’t stop the organization from delivering hundreds of meals to the needy on Thursday.

The Salvation Army’s volunteers packed 1,250 bentos and made home deliveries or dropped them off to the homeless in the streets.

“It is very important for us to keep the tradition of those families that are unable to do their own. It is our mission to provide food so that every household will have food on their tables and celebrate Thanksgiving,” said Maj. Eric Tumole, with the Salvation Army’s Kauluwela Corps.

About 30 volunteers took part in Thursday’s distribution, including Brooke Sinnott.

“We come out every Sunday night. We hand out sandwiches down here in Chinatown and today we are handing out Thanksgiving meals,” she said.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit all walks of life in Hawaii, but it’s been especially harsh on Hawaii’s homeless ranks — which appears to have grown during the past two years.

“There’s a lot more stress, a lot more frustration, a lot more anger,” said Alexander Cannon, who is homeless in Iwilei.

At the Institute for Human Service’s men’s shelter, a Thanksgiving tradition for the homeless remained in doors, serving more than 400 meals for the needy and the hungry.

“We have 12 sites that are being served with Thanksgiving meals today thanks to the Hilton Hawaiian Village. They came by at 2 o’clock today and brought trays and trays of food,” said Jill Wright, the IHS’s director of Philanthropy and Community Relations.

“Our volunteers have been busy in the kitchen, loading up plates, loading up cars to go to the different sites today.”

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