Categorized | Volunteering

HMSA employees help Hawaii’s hungry


Hawaii Medical Service Association employees have made a special Thanksgiving donation to the Hawaii Foodbank to help alleviate hunger during the holidays.

The Foodbank received $14,697 and 4,978 pounds of canned goods and other nonperishable items from HMSA employees on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

“The Hawaii Foodbank distributes nearly 1 million pounds of food to needy islanders every month,” said Polly Kauahi, director of development at Hawaii Foodbank, Inc. “Currently, the amount of canned goods are at a critical level, with only a 15-day supply. We receive much-needed food through community food drives. So, we really appreciate the generosity of HMSA’s employees on Oahu and the Neighbor Islands who are helping us rebuild our food supply and feed families through the holidays.”

Over a four-week period, teams of HMSA employees challenged each other to collect food items. Teams were motivated by a friendly competition between departments. Monetary donations were also collected to help families celebrate Thanksgiving.

“Our holidays are always brighter when we can share the spirit of the season with friends and neighbors,” said Elisa Yadao, HMSA vice president of Community Affairs. “The HMSA annual food drive for the Hawaii Foodbank is one of our most joyous holiday traditions.”

The Hawaii Foodbank is the only nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency on Oahu that collects, warehouses and distributes mass quantities of perishable and nonperishable food to 250 charitable agencies on Oahu and Kauai, as well, as food banks on the Big Island, Kauai and Maui.

Last year, the Hawaii Foodbank distributed more than 11 million pounds of food, including 2 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. It serves about 250 member agencies across Oahu and on Kauai.

Member agencies are Hawaii’s food pantries, feeding programs for children and the elderly, homeless and abuse shelters, rehabilitation centers, and soup kitchens.

HMSA is a nonprofit, mutual benefit association founded in Hawaii in 1938. It is governed by a community board of directors and includes representatives from health care, business, labor, government, education, clergy, and the community at large.

HMSA is a member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

Nationally, HMSA and 38 other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans provide worldwide coverage to more than 100 million members.

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