With many in the local community devastated by hotel and restaurant closures on the tourism-dependent island, staff from the Ironman office in Kailua-Kona who put on the Ironman World Championship have started the Kahiau Together program – “an aid station and drive-through food distribution effort to feed as many members of the community as possible.”
“In support of the Ironman Hawaii team’s mission, the Ironman Foundation pledged $1 million to help feed the Island of Hawaii community,” the company says. “The Kahiau Together Aid Station drive-through events, which first began last July, continue to distribute over 600 food bundles of locally sourced fresh proteins, fruits, vegetables, and starches. To date, over 35,000 meals have been served through 14 distribution events.”
“With the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has caused around the globe and locally in Hawaii, all of us at Ironman are reminded of the importance of taking care of our `ohana when times are tough,” says Diana Bertsch, Ironman senior vice president for world championship events. “The people of Hawaii are resilient and we want our `ohana locally to know we are still here to support the community through Kahiau Together. With this program, we will be distributing food sourced from local producers every month, doing what is right, sharing with others. Not only is our community being fed, our local farmers, fishermen and ranchers are benefitting too. We will all endure the impacts of the pandemic together, as well as take a step back to reflect and be grateful for what we have, and how we are able to lift others up during challenging times.”
The program won’t only distribute local food bundles, it is also providing grants to non-profit organizations to fund and fill food banks. The program will run at least one distribution event a month through the rest of 2021.
You can find out more about the program here.