August 18, 2023
A round of wildfires that has caused so many deaths in Lahaina, Maui, is being called the worst fire in the US in more than a century. One report stated there were a total of six active fires.
And now, a fire in Kula, 25 miles from Lahaina, is also burning.
To date, 111 people have been confirmed dead, with between 1,100 and 1,300 still missing, according to a FEMA spokesperson. And as of today, only 40% of the burned area has been searched.
The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui has been called the Valley Island for its lush landscape. The city of Lahaina is a small, historic town where the locals are proud of their heritage. Now, the quaint town is said to be about 80% in ruin.
Of course, the biggest effort has been from Hawaii itself with support and relief. But we can't help but mention the food and beverage industry, both global and local, that have been sending provisions for those in the Hawaiian island community.
Sweet and snack food giant Nestlé USA committed a $175,000 donation benefitting the Hawaii Community Foundation's Maui Strong Fund, which will help support the needs of those impacted, such as providing shelter, food, and financial assistance.
Hormel Foods and its SPAM brand have made a product donation to support the efforts on Maui. Three truckloads of the meat products are on their way to the impacted areas with two more trucks following, totaling more than 264,000 cans. Convoy of Hope — a nonprofit organization whose mission includes aiding those affected by natural disasters — is the company's trusted partner on the ground, making sure that the product reaches the people most in need.
In total, the SPAM brand has donated cash and product with a retail value of more than $1,000,000 to directly help those impacted by the wildfires.
Global produce giant Dole Food Co., and its Oahu-based subsidiary Dole Fruit Hawaii are donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross in Hawaii and $50,000 to the Maui Food Bank.
In Orange County and LA County, California, local restaurants are raising money for relief. Northern California businesses are sending support as well.
In addition, Spokane Pacific-Islander businesses are collecting donations, Phoenix, Seattle, and DC area businesses are also in support.
The food and beverage industry in Portland, OR, is holding fundraisers this weekend including a wine tasting event.
There are likely many others in the food and bev industry and beyond helping a sister state that has been devastated so quickly. Uber, Walmart, and others have committed as well.
If you're looking to support evacuees and recovery efforts on Maui, The Honolulu Civil Beat has listed various organizations to donate for the Lahaina and Kula wildfires:
Catholic Charities Hawaii: Actively working with other organizations to assess the critical needs of individuals affected by the wildfires.
Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Hawaii Business Relief Fund: Assisting the business communities on Maui.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like