by Feeding Hawai’i Together
The Pantry is a food distribution service for people in need that is operated by Feeding Hawaii Together, a Hawaii-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Founded over 20 years ago by Diana and Charlie Lorenz, who’s passion for helping those in need with dignity and compassion, grew into the largest food distribution pantry in Hawaii. Their original vision provided tens of millions of pounds of food to tens of thousands of people.
Their idea was to serve those in need in a “grocery store style” setting, providing clients with the opportunity to choose the food they wanted. This not only eliminated food waste but supported their customers in becoming self-sufficient.
Charlie and Diana’s vision and legacy continues today in a new location, and has inspired others to help grow The Pantry and its “grocery style shopping” into the most innovative online food pantry in not only Hawaii, but the nation, with the potential to dramatically increase the number of people served.
Founders Charlie and Diana Lorenz at the old pantry in 2013.
We seek to serve the community by developing innovative ways to effectively serve, with dignity and compassion, the daily food needs of a greater number of Hawaii’s working people who struggle with food insecurity including children, the elderly, and those who are disabled.
Who We Serve
The 161,000 of Hawaii residents who were food insecure along with the newly unemployed 200,000 Hawaii residents, who have had a dramatic change in circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to The Guardian (Thursday, April 2, 2020), “The demand for food aid has increased as much as eightfold in some areas, according to an investigation by the Guardian, which gives a nationwide snapshot of the hunger crisis facing the US as millions become unemployed.
About one in three people seeking groceries at not-for-profit pantries last month have never previously needed emergency food aid, according to interviews with a dozen providers across the country.”
We are here to help those today and those in the near future who will need food to survive this crisis.
Eliminate food insecurity in Hawaii by 2025.
In recent years, about 8% of Hawaii households are food insecure, that’s more than 161,000 individuals including 53,530 children. These numbers will see significant growth due to the coronavirus pandemic.
1 in 9 people struggles with hunger while 1 in 6 children struggle. (Source: Feeding America)
Almost 90% of those who are food insecure had a job last year but could not afford to buy enough food for their families.
A significant number of those have now lost one or more of their jobs in the last 30 days.
Food insecure individuals face disproportionately higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease and therefore more healthcare costs. This puts into motion a cycle of disease and expense that furthers disparities between food secure and insecure patients.