Food Basket completes 150th food drop

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald National Guard members load a box of food and rice into a car during the Ohana Food Drop by the Hawaii Food Basket in Pahoa on Friday. The Food Basket will be ending the food drops in July.

The Hawaii Food Basket on Friday morning in Pahoa held its 150th Ohana Food Drop.

The well-attended islandwide food drops have become a regular source for bulk groceries for people who have been struggling with unemployment and other financial insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In May, The Food Basket announced that it would be scaling back the amount of food drops in the county after serving tens of thousands of people on the Big Island for more than a year. Friday’s drop was the final one for Pahoa.

The final month of scheduled Ohana Food Drops has been posted to The Food Basket’s website. The locations are Waimea on Friday, July 2; Hilo on Wednesday, July 14; Kailua-Kona on Friday, July 23; and Naalehu on Tuesday, July 27.

“We’ve continued to get donations, and if we can find a way to host another food drive, we will do that,” said Leelan Park, COVID-19 project manager for The Food Basket. “Luckily, we are so prepared after this experience that if there is any other disaster on the Big Island, we are ready to serve the community.”

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To alleviate the need for a bulk food drop, The Food Basket website has information about its other programs, as well as a list of different resources residents can access for help.

People also can apply for SNAP benefits, find information about food pantries, or contact outreach specialists in Hilo and Kona at https://www.hawaiifoodbasket.org/.

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