Aloha Harvest is a non-profit organization that gathers quality, donated food and delivers it “free of charge” to social service agencies feeding the hungry in Hawai‘i. This innovative concept first proved successful in New York City with the 1982 City Harvest project. In 1999, the Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation asked founder, Helen ver Duin Palit, to study the feasibility of bringing the City Harvest concept to O‘ahu. Based on discussions with potential food donors, recipients, and community leaders, her study concluded that the island definitely needed a reliable link between businesses that wanted to donate good, perishable food and social service agencies with clients to feed. Thus, Aloha Harvest was established in November 1999 to fulfill this need.
Aloha Harvest is now in its 13th year of service to our community. Since its inception, Aloha Harvest has collected and distributed over 9.8 million pounds of food which now includes quality perishable and non-perishable foods, as well as beverages. The food has been donated by over 650 participating donors such as restaurants, caterers, government facilities, hotels, food distributors, businesses and others. This food would otherwise be discarded and gone to waste.
Aloha Harvest is environmentally and economically minded and our program prevents waste, recycles and meets the needs of literally thousands who are facing hunger daily. The food that is picked up each day is delivered that same day! (Aloha Harvest does not store any food.) Strict standards for food safety are applied throughout the entire process. Aloha Harvest has never had any complaints about the safety of the food delivered. It also receives donations from special projects such as Food Drives organized by schools, businesses, organizations, and churches. Further, Aloha Harvest offers pick-up and delivery service year-round, 7 days a week, completely free of charge.
No other organization on O‘ahu provides such a service.
Aloha Harvest is operated by a small, qualified group of four full-time and two part-time employees. The full-time staff include Executive Director, Ku‘ulei Williams; Administrative Assistant & Agency Coordinator, Mele Pepa; Food Donation Coordinator & Database Manager, Julie Williams; and weekday drivers, Hiram Johnson, Kiki Johnson and Mike Lelafu. The part-time staff are – Greg Nacapoy (Saturday driver) and Jayson Canoneo (Sunday driver).