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Hawaii Foodbank to hold annual Food Drive Day virtually

The Hawaii Foodbank will hold its 32nd annual Food Drive Day virtually on Saturday to help slow the spread of the state’s recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

Instead of having physical food collection sites, the nonprofit is encouraging the public to donate money online, give virtually through its Virtual Food Drive and spread the word about the food drive on social media.

More information about the food drive can be found online at HawaiiFoodbank.org, where donors can also fill a virtual shopping cart with different types of food products to donate.

“With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise in Hawaii, we believe this is the most responsible thing for our organization to do,” said Amy Marvin, president and CEO of Hawaii Foodbank, in a statement. “Mitigating the spread of the virus is essential to continuing our daily mission to nourish those in need. Our primary goal is to keep our ‘ohana safe and healthy — our employees, volunteers, partners, families, keiki, kupuna and all those we serve. As we move forward, we will continue to use this as our guiding principle.”

The annual drive helps Hawaii Foodbank maintain its year-round supply of food and help it prepare for emergencies, natural disasters and unexpected events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has taught our organization many things — how quickly circumstances can change and just how fragile food security can be,” said Director of Community Relations Beverly Santos in a statement. “But it has also shown us just how resilient the people of Hawaii are. Time after time, we continue to see people step up and give by example. For all those reasons, it’s important for our community that we keep Food Drive Day going this year.”

Hawaii Foodbank has reported that one in six Hawaii residents continue to struggle with hunger this year, including 81,000 children. Feeding America reported that Hawaii is projected to experience the country’s second-highest rate of child food insecurity this year.

The food bank said it has served 60% more individuals during the pandemic compared to before, distributing more than 27 million meals.

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