UH Hilo’s annual Spring Food Drive exceeds goal with one week to go

Food insecurity is a serious issue in local communities and COVID-19 has only increased that need. 

By Susan Enright

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is conducting the campus’s annual Spring Food Drive through May 15, 2021. The drive is part of the much larger State Food Drive. The university community has already exceeded its goal of collecting $1,200.00 in monetary donations and 350 pounds of non-perishable food.

Maile Boggeln

“Thanks to everyone’s generosity we have exceeded our initial monetary goal and we have raised $1,725!” writes Maile Boggeln, coordinator of student organizations and chair of this year’s food drive, in an email to the campus community today. “This amounts to 4,527 meals for Hawai‘i Island families. Since we still have a week in the fundraiser I am hoping that we can set a UH Hilo record and raise $2,000.”

Members of the UH Hilo community can make a monetary donation online at the Hawaii Food Bank. When making donation add “UH Hilo Food Drive” in the additional comments section to ensure that the donation is credited to the university’s efforts. In the dropdown menu provided, select the site for the donation; Boggeln encourages the selection of  “The Food Basket-Hawai‘i Island Food Bank” to ensure the donations stay in the Hawaii Island community.

Recurring donations will be attributed to the UH Hilo Food Drive.

“Food insecurity is a serious issue in our community and COVID-19 has only increased that need,” says Boggeln. “According to the Hawaii Food Bank, there has been a 102 percent increase in distribution since March of 2020. Together we can help to support our community.”

Purchase a 2021 Food Bank T-Shirt

Members of the UH Hilo community can also purchase a 2021 Food Bank t-shirt, proceeds of which will be donated to Hawai‘i Island Food Basket and are credited back to the UH Hilo drive. The limited t-shirts can be pre-ordered for $20-$25 depending on the size. To credit the purchase to the UH Hilo drive, denote that it is for “State Food Drive-UH Hilo Food Drive” under the additional comments section. Shipping is free within the state of Hawai‘i and a $5.00 charge for orders going to the U.S. continent.

The shirt will be mailed out as soon as they arrive from the manufacturer after the pre-sale ends. Allow up to three to five weeks for delivery.

Make a non-perishable food donation

Donations of non-perishable food can be made at Campus Center room 214. The Campus Center Lobby is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays.

Those unable to do a drop off at Campus Center can email Boggeln to schedule a food donation pick up. “We do ask that if you plan to utilize this option you work with others in your office or unit to determine if anyone else is planning to donate, this will help to reduce the amount of trips needed to transport the donations,” she notes in the email.

Safest support

“We are currently encouraging online monetary donations and t-shirt orders as it is the safest way to support the Food Bank,” Boggeln explains. “We are not currently taking any cash donations if you are interested in writing a check please make it payable to The Food Basket. Please email me directly and I will arrange pick up.”

“I would like to sign off by reminding us all that distance is temporary but our community is forever,” she says. “Thank you all for your time and generosity.”

For more information, contact Boggeln directly or read this online FAQ sheet.


Story by Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.