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Aloha in action on Oahu despite COVID-19 fears

  • COURTESY CAROLYN CABALLES
                                Kaiser staffers Katherine Bell, left, Wayde Tamanaha and Carolyn Caballes with their ramen kits.

    COURTESY CAROLYN CABALLES

    Kaiser staffers Katherine Bell, left, Wayde Tamanaha and Carolyn Caballes with their ramen kits.

Many in Hawaii’s food industry, although facing tough times themselves due to COVID-19, are supporting the needy, health care workers and first responders:

>> Mochi Foods and Soleil d’Hawaii Bakery have teamed up to provide 200 loaves of bread every day to the YMCA’s Honolulu Kaimuki-Waialae Branch, for its hot-lunch meal program for children. The bakery bakes the bread, using flour donated by Mochi Foods and other basic ingredients provided by the YMCA.

Mochi Foods also provides mixes for treats like mochi doughnuts and mochi bread. Founder Pei Wu said many of Mochi Foods’ furloughed employees are volunteering their time to help make the baked goods. To help fund the baking, Mochi Foods is selling its mixes online at mochifoods.com/products.

>> Mr. Tea Cafe donated 800 boba drinks last week to workers at Kapiolani, Straub and Queen’s medical centers. “While we are unable to stand next to them in the hospitals,” the company said in a statement, “we knew we had to do something to show we stand with them in spirit.” Many Mr. Tea workers helped make the drinks during their time off.

>> Ham Produce and Seafood donated 50 meals this week to the Kuakini Fire Station and Kalihi Police Station. The donation was coordinated by Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in Waikiki, which offers free delivery of meals purchased for first responders, hospitals or nonprofits. To donate through Wolfgang’s, call 922-3600 or email wolfgangssteakhouse96815@gmail.com.

>> Sun Noodle marked National Ramen Day on April 4 by sending 100 ramen kits to health care workers at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, each kit containing two servings of fresh noodles and soup bases. The company also made ramen deliveries in Los Angeles and New Jersey, other cities where it has factories.

>> Teddy’s Bigger Burgers donated 100 meals to Queen’s Medical Center April 10 in a show of appreciation for those caring for COVID-19 patients. Teddy’s is considering expanding the donation program to include other hospitals and first responders.

>> Big Island Candies shipped more than 350 care packages of sweets to health care facilities, police and fire stations, each package containing 15 boxes or bags of candy, cookies or other snacks. UPS delivered almost all the packages free, beginning in Hilo, where the company is based, continuing statewide and to some mainland destinations.

>> Down the Hatch in Lahaina serves free meals to first responders and health care workers who stop by the Front Street eatery. “We know how difficult their jobs are and we want to be able to support them with a hot meal, to ease the burden just a little bit either during their shifts or when their shifts are over,” co-owner Javier Barberi said.

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