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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Share excess holiday food

By Christine Chun
Executive director of Aloha Harvest

That age-old saying, "There but for the grace of God go I," seems to ring truer than ever during the holiday season. How far from homelessness might any one of us be if we were laid off from our job and found it necessary to go for weeks or months with no income?

Or if we had a critically ill child needing expensive medical care? Or if we found ourselves and our children victims of domestic violence?

There are numerous social service agencies on O'ahu that offer extensive services to individuals who unexpectedly find themselves, their children or other family members in these or similar situations. And these agencies often need assistance in providing food to feed these hungry men, women and children in our island community ... and that is where Aloha Harvest comes to the rescue.

Aloha Harvest is a nonprofit organization that picks up leftover, perishable food from hotels, restaurants, corporations and catered events and distributes this food immediately to social service agencies meeting the needs of our hungry 'ohana who find themselves in challenging circumstances.

Since its inception in November 1999, Aloha Harvest has picked up more than 1.26 million pounds of food from 300 generous donors. Food donation pickups and deliveries occur seven days a week and reach 87 different social service agencies on O'ahu.

In the past, donors have been hesitant to contribute perishable food because of liability concerns if someone falls ill. However, with the passing of the "Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act" by President Bill Clinton in 1996, that concern has essentially been eliminated, and food donations are received on a regular basis.

Each one of us could one day find ourselves or a loved one in a situation where the need for Aloha Harvest's services would be welcomed. Just as in our own homes, the need for more food never disappears. Won't you share your abundance this Christmas season?

Please call 537-6945 if you would like to make a donation of food or money to this very worthwhile cause.