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Food Basket Feed-a-Thon Collects Nearly $40K in 5 Days

By Tiffany DeMasters
March 1, 2022, 10:30 AM HST
* Updated March 1, 10:14 AM
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The Hawaiʻi Island Food Basket raised nearly $40,000 during its annual Feed-a-Thon event last week, which collects money and food for the local charity.

Normally a 10-day drive, this was the first year its host Tommy Kahikina Ching, along with Food Basket employees and volunteers collected donations for five days in front of three KTA stores, from Feb. 21-25. The feed-a-thon brought in the same amount of funds in five days as it did during the 10-day drive in 2020.

Courtesy of Tommy Kahikina Ching

The annual event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

“The community has rallied in a big way during the pandemic to support their neighbors, friends and families in need,” said Food Basket Executive Director Kristin Frost Albrecht. “At the height of the pandemic we were serving six times more than we did pre-pandemic. Now, we are serving about three times more than pre-pandemic — so the need continues to be very high.”

This year’s event also brought in 3,450 cans of food and dry goods, like cereal and ramen.

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Ching began his partnership with the Food Basket when he first worked as a DJ at KAPA-FM in 2008. He has continued to be the face of the charity for the past 21 years. Since the Feed-a-Thon began, Ching said he has collected a million and half pounds of food.

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“It’s a problem so easily solved, yet it seems so difficult,” Ching said of food insecurity on Hawaiʻi Island. “If you just gave a little bit, we can take care of a lot of people.”

Albrecht said the Food Basket can always use more food.

“The food that comes in, is going out quickly,” she said. “Canned protein (tuna, chicken, meat) and meals (chili, stew, soups) are high priority needs — as are fruit, vegetables and rice.”

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People can drop food off at the wagons marked with The Food Basket in KTA superstores or they can drop off food at either Kona or Hilo locations. Click here for information on how to make a monetary donation.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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