By. Morgan Lapp
UH Maui College has a new club that is offering services to students in need, in association with the Maui Food Bank. “Hui Haumana” is a student and faculty run club that is making a difference for students in the UH Maui College community. They are currently offering free food bags to students who can’t afford meals, and are working on other services such as bus passes, food vouchers and a student pantry.
Hui Haumana has been on campus for about two months and is run by students and staff including, Michael Mowbray: President, Leila Rodrigues: Vice President, Dr. Celeste Baldwin: Faculty Representative, Sia Amotai: Secretary, and Iris Latu: Liaison. They are currently running their food bag program in partnership with the Maui Food Bank, where students are given a back pack full of food that they can return with every week to have refilled. Bags are filled with non-perishables and canned foods that are balanced and nutritional for the student, with options for students with food allergies and no access to a microwave. Through boxes from the Maui Food Bank and on-campus donations the food is rationed out and prepared to be given to students in need, so that students don’t have to wait long at the door and it can be as comfortable for them as possible.
The food bag program is run on an honor system and all that needs to be provided is a name, signature, phone number and an email address. Each participating student is given a number that they show when they come to pick up their food, this keeps the process confidential and takes the pressure off of the students. So far, information on the program has just been spread through word of mouth however, it is beginning to grow and thrive. “It’s fun, it’s something I look forward to everyday. I can’t stand to see people going hungry,” said Latu, “It does the heart good.”
Hui Haumana is able to keep this program going through donations. Beginning in May there will be a campus wide food drive where donation boxes will be in places like the mailroom, the admissions office, the chancellor’s office, the nursing buildings and other locations around campus. Donations are what keep this program running and help UH Maui College students from going hungry, so every donation counts to help our campus community thrive. Donations go to the Maui Food Bank where they are organized and then distributed back to the campus and around the island. Donations at all other times may also be dropped off at the Mailroom in the ground floor of the Library. They except all kinds of canned food and non-perishables as well as fresh fruits and veggies, water and can openers.
In the near future Hui Haumana would like to have more programs for students in need like a student pantry, where students could come to receive a free hot meal, or food vouchers. They are also working on trying to get a program going for bus passes so that students with out transportation can have a way of getting to and from school with ease. They will be holding some fundraisers in early April including a carwash and a silent auction in which donations are now being excepted.
If you or anyone you know on UH Maui College Campus is in need of food or going hungry, Hui Haumana is there for you. They are located at the Mailroom at the ground floor of the library, and are open Monday through Friday, 8am to 4:15pm. If you have any questions about Hui Haumana or would like more information on their programs please email Michael Mowbray at email@example.com and if you would like more information on the Maui food bank please visit https://mauifoodbank.org.