Paddle For Hunger
On Thanksgiving Day, before the last drumstick disappeared, or that second helping of pumpkin pie left the plate, the team at Hawaiian Paddle Sports, Maui Kayak Adventures, and Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding spent the morning with nearly 400 members of the Maui community at the annual Paddle For Hunger event. With canned goods in hand and aloha spirit abounding, the community opened its hearts and wallets for a good cause.
Originally organized as an OC1 time trial for Malama Ula Canoe Club (Wailea Canoe Club), Paddle For Hunger has grown into official fundraiser for the Maui Food Bank, a Thanksgiving ritual for the Maui community. From 2009-2015, the event has brought in over $10,000 in cash donations and 3,062 pounds of food.
In 2016, Hawaiian Paddle Sports began organizing and running the annual event through our M?lama Maui Campaign. Since then the community helped us raise over $27,000 in cash donations, along with 3,050 pounds of food!
This year alone we raised over $9,000 in cash donations and 1,000 pounds of food, enough to provide 40,000 meals for needy families in Maui County.
Giving Back to Our Community
Hawaiian Paddle Sports has been participating in the Paddle For Hunger event to support the Maui Food Bank since 2012, and we took our involvement a step further by taking on event logistics and planning, seeking local sponsors to donate door prizes for the raffle and silent auction, and orchestrating the morning’s activities.
“This is the most organized we’ve ever seen this event,” one paddler told us as he dropped off his canned goods.
Our team at Hawaiian Paddle Sports worked hard behind the scenes to get all permits, insurance waivers, water safety staff, and set up a pre-registration site to help formalize the event. We partnered with more than 30 local businesses to collect door prizes and silent auction packages, with the goal to make sure everyone was a winner.
“We’d like to extend a big mahalo to Hawaiian Paddle Sports for organizing Paddle For Hunger and a special thank you to our Maui community and sponsors for their overwhelming support, especially on Thanksgiving Day,” said Marlene Rice, development director for Maui Food Bank. “It is through this collaborative spirit of aloha that we are able to fulfill our mission of helping the hungry in Maui County.”
We are so grateful to each and everyone of the participants who came out to the Paddle For Hunger event this year. With over $9,000 raised and 1,000 pounds of food collected, we surpassed our expectations and have now set the bar for next year’s event!
Maui Food Bank: Battling Hunger on Maui
Astonishingly, over 10,000 people in Maui County have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Hunger touches people of every age, race, ethnic group, and neighborhood on our island, from the smallest keiki to our youth and seniors.
To address Maui’s hunger issue, Maui Food Bank works through community partnerships to help collect and distribute food throughout Maui County. Maui Food Bank collects food donations from retail stores, food distributors, wholesalers, restaurants, farmers and farmer’s markets, individuals and through food drives. Additional food items are purchased locally and from the mainland. Maui Food Bank is also a USDA food distributor.
Leveraging its network of over 100 partnering agencies, Maui Food Bank is able to serve 10,000 people a month who are food insecure. This includes the working poor, children and youth, seniors, the homeless, anyone who is at risk of going hungry. Maui Food Bank is even able to distributes food to the needy in rural communities of Hana, Molokai and Lanai.
In 2012, Maui Food Bank launched the Aloha BackPack Buddies program. Through the program, pre-filled backpacks of food are distributed to elementary school students from low income families every Friday. These backpacks contain six meals that keep children fed for weekend. Maui Food Bank annually distributes 12,120 backpacks, equivalent to 72,720 meals.
In addition to the Aloha BackPack Buddies program, Maui Food Bank provides Maui County residents with pre-packed holiday meal boxes, annually supplies Maui’s hungry with over 300,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, and delivers healthy snacks to 1,000+ Maui students each week through the Kids’ Cafe program.
How You Can Help Fight Hunger on Maui
Maui Food Bank is the only organization in Maui County that collects and distributes bulk quantities of perishable and non-perishable food items to Maui’s hungry. Help Maui Food Bank fight hunger by:
- Hosting a food drive at your business, school, place of worship, community service club, or in your neighborhood.
- Volunteering at Maui Food Bank’s warehouse, in the office, and even at special events.
- Donating directly to programs that service Maui’s hungry.
Our Paddle For Hunger Sponsors
A big mahalo once again to our 2018 event sponsors:
Grand Wailea, Kihei Canoe Club, Made in Hawaii, Travaasa Hana, Maui Kayak Adventures, Maui Surf Lessons, Hawaii Mermaid Adventures, Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Rebecca Pang & Co., Trilogy Excursions, Down the Hatch, Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Unique Maui Tours, Nalu’s, Outrigger Pizza.
If you are interested in donating to Paddle For Hunger 2019, please send us a note at [email protected]