After several disasters, Hawaii Foodbank sees its stockpile dwindle

After several disasters, Hawaii Foodbank sees its stockpile dwindle
Updated: Aug. 7, 2018 at 4:44 PM HST
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MAPUNAPUNA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every day, the Hawaii Foodbank distributes up to 50,000 pounds of food to member agencies who get it to the hungry.

Its warehouse is still stocked — but the stockpile's dwindling.

Foodbank president Ron Mizutani warns that Hurricane Hector is a reminder that disasters can happen at any time.

"All it takes is one," he said. "We saw that with Iniki. We thought it would pass South. It turned right and Kauai got slammed. If that would happen on this storm, we'd be in a world of hurt."

That's because the Foodbank only has enough food on hand for about nine days should donations suddenly stop. It should be a 20-day supply.

"If we have to, we'll make emergency purchases. Right now, we're not at that point. I don't want to get to that point," Mizutani said.

The shortage happened because of a summer slowdown in food donations, coupled with emergency food assistance to Kauai and the Big Island.

The Foodbank desperately needs donated food so distribution sites like Lighthouse Outreach Center in Waipahu can continue feeding the hungry.

"I really worry because I've done this almost 20 years," said Rev. Joe Hunkin. "I see the people. They need food."

Linda Akana delivers Foodbank food to seniors in her Kapolei neighborhood.

She's urging people to pitch in with donations.

"I hope people realize that we are blessed by their sharing and donations," she said.

Mizutani said every donation helps.

"We appreciate Spam, local people love Spam. We love vienna sausage. Canned  proteins, canned vegetables, canned fruits, produce if you have some. Money is always appreciated. We can stretch the dollar further than most people at home," he said.

To donate food drop it off at the Hawaii Foodbank's warehouse at 2611 Kilihau Street in Mapunapuna. It's open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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