Access to healthy foods is important to the health of Maui County. We are seeing the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other preventable chronic diseases than ever before. Worse, those affected are younger than ever before! Numerous scientific studies have found that for the first time in history the current generation of school-aged children have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. By the age of 35, 35% will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This future is preventable with education, policies that promote health, and community support!
The Give Healthy Initiative is a new Maui Food Bank (MFB) program that offers food-insecure and at-risk populations healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins. Through Give Healthy Food Drives, MFB is able to provide nutritious food to 10,000 Maui County residents each month.
Choose to donate these foods to Give Healthy:
• Fresh fruits and vegetables
• Low-sodium protein: tuna, chicken, or salmon packed in water
• Whole grains such a brown rice, cereal, or pasta
• Shelf-stable milk and plant-based milk
• Fruit packs in water not syrup & Low-sodium canned vegetables
MFB accepts fresh fruit and vegetable donations (both store bought or yard gathered) at their Wailuku facility at 760 Kolu Street, between 7am-3pm.
Top local Vegetables Top Local Fruit
• Green Cabbage • Papaya
• Okinawa Sweet Potato • Mango
• Cucumbers • Oranges (and other citrus)
• Zucchini • Apple Banana
• Egg Plant • Avocado
One of the MFB partner agencies that benefits from healthy donations is the Maui Chapter of Chilis on Wheels. Chilis on Wheels is 100% volunteer run and is committed to serving high-quality vegan meals on a weekly basis. In one year, the organization served 1,500 hot meals to those in need on Maui.
The Give Healthy Initiative was launched by MFB in partnership with Blue Zones Project and the Healthy Eating + Active Living (HEAL) Coalition. By creating more access to healthy food, it will be easier for all Maui County residents to make the healthy choice the easy choice. With more access points for healthy food within our community the possibility for equity in health for Maui County residents will increase, and hopefully prevent the rise in rates of chronic diseases.
Image Credit: The Maui Food Bank