“I didn't grow up with a lot of money but my parents always made sure we had food on the table. I never went hungry. However, as I reflect back on the dishes we ate, I can now see that my parents made our food stretch.” shares Geoli Ng, Director of the Kōkua Initiative.
Did you know that Hawai’i tops the list of most expensive groceries in the United States?
The average cost for groceries in the US is about $356/month but locally, it’s significantly higher, reaching as high as $557/month on the island of Oahu. Nearly 4 in 10 people cannot afford to eat healthy, and throughout the islands, one in seven children live in households without consistent access to adequate food.
To help address these issues, each month, the Waiākea Kōkua Initiative holds a drive in support of Hawai'i Island’s Foodbank, The Food Basket, at KTA Puainako in Hilo.
“I remember my family sharing food from our garden or recently cooked meals being traded with our neighbors so that everyone could have a little something or a variety to add to their tables for dinner. I remember my parents made a meal for the whole entire family of 8 with 1 can of spam and a ton of vegetables served on a bed of rice.” Geoli continues.
This Holiday Season, Waiākea is launching an online drive to help raise funds for our partners at The Food Basket to help end hunger in our Big Island Home. You can help for as little as $5, or the cost of a latte, and a contribution up to $10 can provide up to school lunch for a week.
As a mahalo for contributing to this campaign, supporters will be entered in for a chance to win autographed merchandise from some of our ambassadors. Prizes include signed merchandise from Hilo’s own MLB Star Kolten Wong, 4x NBA Champion Klay Thompson, Maui and Bellator MMA Star, Sumiko Inaba, a surfboard from pro surfer Coco Ho, Waiākea ’Ohana pack of products, discounts and more! Five winners of signed prizes will be announced and awarded in January of 2023.
“We all do what we have to, in order to survive and we do it without complaining. We work hard, find the joy in the work we do and we provide for our families the best that we can. We share our excess with others who need help, and in return someone else gives back to us when we need some support. One of the reasons why I am passionate about the Food Basket is because it follows that same principle, it is the connection between people in our community. Those that have extra can share it and those that need some support can pick it up. What a beautiful way to strengthen one another.”
Mahalo and happy holidays!