Let’s All Turn Out For The Food Drive

Sheri Rolf | Jade Moon photo

The little boy walking down the street in the middle of the night wasn’t looking for trouble.

He was looking for food.

When a police officer picked him up, the boy explained that there was nothing in his house for him to eat. He scrounged around for change and was walking to Burger King to get french fries. It was all he could afford.

The officer took him to Burger King and fed him. The next day he told the principal of the boy’s school what was going on.

I actually met that little boy when I visited the school to gather information for Hawaii Foodbank. It was the principal who told me his story.

Keep that child in mind when you see our volunteers on the roads this weekend for our annual food drive. And remember that he is not alone.

There are 55,000 children in Hawaii who are “food insecure.”

The number may not mean much until you break it down this way: That’s one out of every five kids in Hawaii. It’s staggering.

Sheri Rolf is chairwoman of the annual food drive. Even after 23 years working as a volunteer, a board member and chairwoman of the drive, she is unflagging in her enthusiasm because of stories like this. And her empathy runs even deeper because of her own experiences as a child.

“I remember growing up, my dad would go hunting for food,” she recalls. “Not because it was fun, but because we needed meat to put on the table.”

And when they didn’t have meat, which was quite often, dinner was something she calls “milk bread.”

“You get a bowl of milk, a shallow bowl, put toast in it and butter. Just a little butter, and only if you had it – butter was a treat for us – then salt and pepper. That was our dinner.

“As children, we weren’t particularly worried about whether we’d have food. But it was … rough for our parents especially.”

Rolf says she’s amazed that even during hard times people still manage to give.

And the need is bigger than ever. Right now the Hawaii Foodbank warehouse has only enough to feed people for 10 days, which is why it’s a very good thing the food drive is this Saturday.

Our goal is 1 million meals. Your donation of food is appreciated, and money is great, too, because every $10 you give makes it possible for us to distribute food for 25 meals.

And there’s another way you can contribute.

Rolf says, “One of the things we really need this year is volunteers on the street. Any adult over the age of 16 can volunteer at our drop-off sites.”

It’s not too late. Just come to a drop-off site and we’ll put you to work for a couple of hours. We can really use your help.

The Hawaii Foodbank Food Drive is this Saturday, April 20. The drop-off sites on Oahu are:

Waterfront Plaza, Koko Marina Center, McCully Shopping Center, Pearl City Shopping Center, Pearl Highlands Center, Town Center of Mililani, Waiokeola Congregational Church-Kahala and Windward City Shopping Center.

I hope you can help us by donating food, money or time. I’ll be at the Kahala location this year. See you there!