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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 11, 2001

The September 11th attack
Foodbank supply quickly shrinking

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

The Hawaii Foodbank needs help in replenishing its shelves, which have dwindled in the fallout of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"We're down," said Hawaii Foodbank President Dick Grimm. "We normally have a 30-day supply of food on hand. We're down to 20 days ... We're concerned. We're very concerned."

Grimm said the Foodbank's daily distribution for September was 26,000 pounds of food, compared with 20,000 a day in July.

The waves of layoffs following Sept. 11 has worried social service agencies, some of which have seen an increase in inquiries and requests for help. Grimm said food pantries in the community need more food to accommodate an increased demand.

The foodbank is now disassembling 2,000 food boxes that it has kept aside — each box holds about three days of food for a family of four — because food supply on shelves is running low, he said.

"We're really getting low, and we're trying everything we can," Grimm said. "We're using contacts on the Mainland to see what we can get, but everyone is stressed out all over. Usually, we've been able to work with food banks on the Mainland, but in this particular case with the tragedies in New York and the Pentagon, a lot of the food banks are forwarding food to New York."

The Foodbank will hold a food drive at the University of Hawai'i football game Saturday at Aloha Stadium. Foodbank officials will be collecting food at the gate.

Food also may be dropped off at any auto dealer, Grimm said.

He said the Foodbank needs protein-rich canned goods — such as tuna, pork and beans, peanut butter and Spam. Rice also is in short supply.

The Foodbank already has a lot of produce donated by farmers who have been unable to sell it because hotels have cut their purchasing.

You can reach Lynda Arakawa at larakawa@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8070.