Feeding The Needy, Hungry And Homeless

By Ku‘ulei Williams, Aloha Harvest Executive Director

Aloha Harvest is a small, nonprofit organization that has serviced our community for almost 15 years. Since its inception, Aloha Harvest has rescued more than 12 million pounds of food – food that would otherwise have been discarded.

Our mission is to distribute excess quality food at no charge to social service agencies feeding the needy, hungry and homeless in our community. The food is being provided by more than 230 active donors, and it has gone to 168 social service agencies. As of December 2013, Aloha Harvest helped these agencies feed more than 77,536 individuals a month.

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Aloha Harvest’s clients line up to receive food at Hawaii Cedar Church. Photo from Aloha Harvest

This innovative concept first proved successful in New York City with the 1982 City Harvest project. In 1999, the Hau’oli Mau Loa Foundation asked founder Helen Palit to study the feasibility of bringing the City Harvest concept to Oahu. Based on discussions with potential food donors, recipients and community leaders, the study concluded that Oahu needed a reliable link between businesses that wanted to donate good, perishable food and social service agencies with clients to feed. Aloha Harvest was established in 1999 to fulfill this need.

We do not have a warehouse for storage, so all the food is picked up and delivered the same day.

From the state Department of Human Services: “In addition to the food you provide, your dedication to your mission and everyone’s positive work ethic makes it a pleasure to do business with your agency. The generosity of all of your vendors who unselfishly provide meals and food products by donating their surplus is truly appreciated.

Economic times are tough, and its effects are felt doubly by those families with limited incomes (and children). What all of you do makes a world of difference to our families in low income public housing. Mahalo!”

Your help is needed. Financial donations can be made through our web-site, by mailing a check to our office, or by making a donation at any of our fundraising events. Food donation pickups can be made by calling our office at 537-6945. If you are interested in volunteering, please call our office or email kuulei@alohaharvest.org.

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