Big Island Coronavirus Updates

New Hawai‘i Ministry Offers Masks, Meals Free

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Theresa Kaiwi, of Hawai‘i Brown Bag Ministry, said in addition to meal deliveries, the organization is making protective masks for first responders and anyone else who needs one. PC: Theresa Kaiwi

A couple in Hilo is putting together free meals and making free facemasks for anyone in need throughout the community.

John and Theresa Kaiwi run Hawai‘i Brown Bag Ministry, which began in March of last year. The Ministry has offered support to the Salvation Army in the downtown Hilo area, donating peanut butter and jelly sack lunches along with a drink and a fruit bar, according to an organizational press release.

Anyone in the downtown Hilo area on Tuesday and Friday mornings is invited to stop by the Salvation Army and pick up a brown bag courtesy of the Ministry. Handout times start at 9 AM.


The ministry began providing brown bag meals for 30-50 people one day a week through the Salvation Army. As of the COVID-19 pandemic, between that number has jumped to between 180-200 bags for Salvation Army, kūpuna care centers and women’s shelters, the release continued.

“We are firm believers that we have to help those around us,” Theresa said.

She added she will also be sewing face masks and giving them to healthcare workers, essential employees and anyone else who needs one. The public can learn more about the Ministry by visiting its website.


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