HONOLULU — Matson announced it has committed $5 million in cash and in-kind shipping services to the foodbank networks supporting families in need in Hawai‘i, Alaska and Guam.
Already a longtime financial supporter in those communities, Matson will provide the foodbanks with ocean shipping of food supplies at no cost for the remainder of 2020 and all of 2021, 2022 and 2023.
The new commitment follows Matson’s support earlier this year for the Hawai‘i Foodbank and Maui Food Bank, as well as other Hawai‘i community-food-security programs, including: Hawai‘i Meals on Wheels, Show Aloha Challenge, St. Francis Kupuna Meal, Feed My Sheep, KUPU, Hawai‘i Hotel Industry Foundation food drive and The Salvation Army.
“With the pandemic affecting incomes for so many, families in all of our communities are under extraordinary strain and foodbanks are struggling to keep up with the need,” said Matt Cox, Matson chairman and CEO.
”This is something we can do to help food banks put more of their funding toward sourcing food for distribution,” said Cox. “We are committed to helping meet community needs in the way we know best — by getting much-needed basic sustenance supplies delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Ron Mizutani, CEO of Hawaii Foodbank, said, “The global pandemic has changed the face of hunger in Hawai‘i, and thousands of people are needing food assistance for the first time in their lives. This support from Matson will help us immensely in our recovery and response at a time when our community needs it most.”
Before the pandemic, Hawai‘i Foodbank normally purchased and imported approximately 14 container loads of food supplies annually to accommodate local needs. This year, it will import 107 container loads, and estimates it could need 150 container loads in 2021 to meet local community needs.
“While we are all hopeful that vaccines and new treatments will begin to make a difference in 2021, it’s clear that the pandemic’s effects on many local families could be long-lasting,” said Cox.
“We are committing to support our foodbanks for the next three years in order to help them maximize their capacity to help families recover.”
Matson operates three ship voyages per week from the West Coast to Honolulu, with twice-weekly barge connections to Maui and Hawai‘i Island, and three weekly connections to Kaua‘i.
Detailed service schedules and other information about Matson is available at Matson.com.