The Food Basket’s Ohana Food Drops continue to serve those in need during pandemic

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune Herald A volunteer directs traffic while other volunteers load food into cars at the Food Basket Ohana Food Drop in Honokaa on Friday, June 26, 2020.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune Herald Kristin Frost Albrecht flattens empty boxes while volunteers load food into cars at the Food Basket Ohana Food Drop in Honokaa on Friday, June 26, 2020.

  • SrA. Pidono directs cars down the line at the Food Basket Ohana Food Drop in Honokaa on Friday, June 26, 2020. Hundreds of cars lined up as early as 8 a.m. to receive food at the food drop. (Kelsey Walling/Tribune Herald)

  • A volunteer reaches for orange squash to give to a person in line at the Food Basket Ohana Food Drop in Honokaa on Friday. (Kelsey Walling/Tribune Herald)

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune Herald Spc. Kale Haina puts a box of food donated by Food Basket into the trunk of a care at the Food Basket Ohana Food Drop in Honokaa on Friday, June 26, 2020. Food Basket have about 14 food drops a month.

  • Spc. Paresa grabs two boxes of chicken for people in line at the Food Basket Ohana Food Drop in Honokaa on Friday, June 26, 2020. National Guard members volunteered time to help give out food. (Kelsey Walling/Tribune Herald)

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune Herald Volunteers load food into cars at the Food Basket Ohana Food Drop in Honokaa on Friday, June 26, 2020. Volunteers were able to give thousands of meals to people in line.

Lehua Street in Honokaa was packed Friday afternoon with cars on their way to pick up food during The Food Basket’s Ohana Food Drop event.

Ohana Food Drop donors along with The Food Basket, CMU ‘Ohana, Hilo Fish Co. and Kona Fish Co. gave a couple of thousand meals to Hawaii Island residents in line around the Honokaa Sports Complex and Skate Park.

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The Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s food bank, has provided meals to island residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and has not been slowing down.

“We’re doing about 14 food drops a month,” said The Food Basket Executive Director Kristin Frost Albrecht. “People began lining up for this 1 p.m. food drop at about 8 a.m.”

Although supplies are limited, hundreds of residents are able to collect food in bulk, which is distributed on a first come, first serve basis. People are asked to remain in their cars and wear masks if they roll down the windows.

All of the food given to help those in need has been funded by donations to The Food Basket.

“This is truly residents feeding residents,” Albrecht said. “All of the food was grown on the island, nothing was purchased out of the county.”

The Hawaii National Guard, North Hawaii Education and Research Center and community members volunteered to pass out food to the endless line of cars in Honokaa.

The food bank plans to continue serving the island with Ohana Food Drop distribution events through July.

Anyone can drive up to receive food in bulk during these planned Ohana Food Drop events:

• 10 a.m. Friday, July 3, Waimea District Park.

• 10 a.m. July 10, Waikoloa Elementary School.

• 10 a.m. July 23, Kekuaokalani Gymnasium in Kona.

• 10 a.m. July 24, Honokaa Sports Complex &Skate Park.

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The Food Basket has additional donation dates listed on its website at www.hawaiifoodbasket.org, where it also continues to accept monetary donations.

Email Kelsey Walling at kwalling@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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