As the season of giving begins, many of us have a difficult time deciding where our charitable dollars would best be spent. For some, buying a ticket to a high-priced fundraiser or dropping change in a sidewalk bucket does not feel like the right fit. The Check-Out Hunger program tries to make giving easy by providing a simple donation opportunity that also answers the question: where is my money going?
The program gives shoppers an opportunity to make a donation to the Hawaii Foodbank while they are buying groceries at their local market. Beginning Nov. 4, shoppers will find bright green Check-Out Hunger coupons in three denominations at the cash registers of several local grocery stores. Shoppers can purchase just one or multiple coupons upon check-out. Purchasing a coupon for $2.81 will feed a child breakfast for one week; a $12.43 coupon will feed a senior lunch for one month; and a $16.84 coupon will feed one family dinner for one week. The donation amount will be added to the total of your shopping purchase and the money will go directly to the Hawaii Foodbank.
The 21st annual Check-Out Hunger fund-raising program operates across the state. Donations from each coupon purchased will go to one of the following local food banks: the Hawaii Foodbank, the Maui Food Bank, Hawaii Foodbank Kauai Branch or The Food Basket on the Big Island. Last year, the program raised $219,968 statewide. Since its launch in 1994, the program has raised more than $2 million.
Kraft Foods in Hawaii is donating $5,000 to the Hawaii Foodbank to kick off the program. This year’s donation brings Kraft’s total contributions to $55,000 over the last 11 years. “We are proud to be a part of the Check-Out Hunger program for the eleventh year in a row and keep supporting of this great cause,” said Gerald Shintaku, CBL of Kraft Foods in Hawaii. “But, with one in five of our island residence now needing assistance, we continue to ask for the community’s support in the fight against hunger. Even the smallest donation can make a world of difference to the people in our community whose only wish is to not be hungry this holiday season.”
Participating retailers on Maui include Safeway Stores (statewide) and Times Supermarkets (statewide).
The Hawaii Foodbank is the state’s only affiliate of Feeding America, the national Food Bank Network comprising more than 200 food banks across the country. The Feeding America affiliation is shared with the Kauai Branch, the Maui Food Bank and The Food Basket on the Island of Hawaii. The Hawaii Foodbank is a partner agency of Aloha United Way and Kauai United Way, an integral part of Hawaii’s safety net serving people in need.
The Hawaii Foodbank is also the only nonprofit agency on Oahu that collects, warehouses and distributes mass quantities of both perishable and nonperishable food to help feed Hawaii’s hungry. Donated and purchased foods are distributed to more than 230 member agencies on Oahu and Kauai. Last year, the Hawaii Foodbank distributed more than 13.4 million pounds of food including more than 4.2 million pounds of fresh produce to those needing emergency food assistance in Hawaii.
The Check-Out Hunger program will run from Nov. 4, 2014 through Jan. 16, 2015.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons