Celebrating our Faith during COVID-19

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Caring for Our Hungry Neighbors

July 13, 2020

“Food pantries or food distribution activities…these are essential services provided to those in need.” - Bishop Larry Silva (memo dated March 28, 2020).

Bishop Larry’s March 28th directive to identify parish food pantries as essential remains in full effect. Mahalo to the many volunteers who have generously offered time and service to keep their doors open during this COVID-19 crisis out of care and concern for their hungry neighbors! The pandemic reminds us how important it is for EVERYONE to continue protecting one another from the virus, while helping to feed those most in need.

A large number of our food pantry coordinators and volunteers are retired seniors who are vulnerable to infection and urged to shelter in place. We encourage all parishes to assess the age and health of their volunteer corps and to modify operations that allow for precautionary measures including social and physical distancing. Several pantries conduct distribution “drive-up/thru” style to minimize exposure. It is critical that we continue to operate our food ministries in a safe and healthy way.

Attached is an updated list of parish food pantries operating across our island state, listed by vicariate.  The schedule with distribution dates, times and addresses make it easy to share this important resource with your hungry neighbor.  When doing so, remind all pantry patrons that they must wear a mask and follow safety guidance as directed. 

Many pantries are member agencies of their island Food Bank. At least 7 pantries participate in the Food Bank’s monthly Senior Food Box distribution (Commodity Supplemental Food Program) and continue to provide for vulnerable seniors during the pandemic.  

Those who are not Food Bank members may have a limited inventory as they rely solely on donations from their parish community. Please review this parish food pantries list to:

  1. Confirm where and when parishes pantries are providing food
  2. Support these pantries by volunteering where needed, and
  3. Provide donations directly to the pantries and/or to the Food Banks they depend on.

God bless our parish food pantry volunteers as we continue to nourish each other as One ‘Ohana!

Your Friends at the Office for Social Ministry