HMSA annual food drive gets employees into the spirit of giving

More than $39,000 and 5,900 pounds of canned goods and other nonperishables from employees of the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) will help Hawaii’s local food banks provide food to approximately 123,000 families across the state this holiday season. HMSA employees’ annual four-week holiday food drive wrapped up today with donations for the Hawaii Foodbank, the Food Basket on Hawaii Island, The Maui Foodbank, and the Hawaii Foodbank’s Kauai branch.

“The Hawaii Foodbank network helps to feed more than 20 percent of our state’s population and right now our supply is extremely low. We only have enough food in our Oahu warehouse to sustain us for about 10 days,” said Polly Kauahi, vice president of the Hawaii Foodbank, Inc. “The generosity of HMSA’s employees comes at a particularly good time and will go a long way to helping us replenish our supply.”

Bake sales, breakfast buffets, and friendly competition drove this year’s donations. Employees were organized into eight teams, each with team captains who were responsible for collecting canned goods and monetary donations, making weekly drop-offs, and encouraging their teammates to get involved and help fight hunger. Donations made by employees on the Neighbor Islands will go to their respective food banks.

“Our employees truly look forward to this event each year,” said Michael A. Gold, HMSA president and chief executive officer. “In addition to being able to enjoy the culinary talents of their co-workers, they really get into the spirit of giving. It’s a wonderful way for us to get ready for the holidays and a gentle reminder that we should all be doing our part to help one another.”

About Hawaii Foodbank, Inc.

The Hawaii Foodbank has served the people of Hawaii for 31 years. It is the only nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency on Oahu that collects, warehouses, and distributes mass quantities of perishable and nonperishable food to 250 charitable agencies on Oahu. Last year, the Hawaii Foodbank distributed more than 13 million pounds of food, including 4 million pounds of fresh produce, to help feed 287,000 people in need statewide.

About HMSA

Caring for the people of Hawaii is our promise and our privilege. Working together with employers, partners, and physicians and other health care providers, we promote wellness; develop reliable, affordable health plans; and support members with clear, thoughtful guidance.

HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawaii’s population. As a recognized leader, we embrace our responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of our community.

Headquartered on Oahu with centers statewide to serve our members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.