Hale Paʻi ʻAi Food Pantry


Food pantry services are available to any UH Hilo students in need of food assistance. Stop by Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai during hours of operation with your UH Hilo student ID to receive a food pantry ID card.

COVID-19 Update

Hale Paʻi ʻAi, UH Hilo’s food pantry is closed for the remainder of the semester. In lieu of food pantry services, Hale Paʻi ʻAi meal vouchers will be available at the Campus Center Dining Room from 8am – 2pm on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, April 7
  • Wednesday, April 8
  • Tuesday, April 14
  • Wednesday, April 15
  • Tuesday, April 21
  • Wednesday, April 22

UH Hilo students in need of supplemental food assistance are welcome to stop by the Campus Center Dining Room to request a meal voucher on the specified dates and place their take out order at the same time.

Meal voucher menu offerings, on a first come, first served basis include the following:

  • Tuesdays: One (1) Loco Moco (hamburger, chicken or vegetarian)
  • Thursdays: One (1) Cheeseburger, Chicken Sandwich, or Vegetable Medley Burger

Students who are not feeling well, or are quarantined, please email uhhfood@hawaii.edu and we will coordinate separate arrangements to accommodate you.

For emergency food assistance, please email uhhfood@hawaii.edu.

Who is eligible to receive services?

Food pantry items include hot meals, fresh produce and bread, frozen items, and canned and boxed goods

Hale Paʻi ‘Ai services are available to any UH Hilo student in need of food assistance. No eligibility criteria or financial forms are required, just a validated UH Hilo student ID. All we ask is that students use Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai services only as needed so we are able to serve as many students in need as possible.

Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai is not intended to supply all food a student needs for the week, but will provide supplemental food to students who are in need of this type of support. We welcome and encourage any UH Hilo student in need of food assistance to stop by Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai during hours of operation.

How does it work?

Based on the increase in participation this past semester, students may select up to 5 items per visit to ensure that we are able to accommodate as many students with food insecurities as possible. In addition to perishable and non-perishable healthy and comfort food items, a variety of fresh produce will be available on a first come, first served basis. Please bring a reusable bag for your grocery items.

Food distribution system:

  • Participants are allowed one visit per week during hours of operation.
  • Food items are color coded and labeled pink or green.
  • Participants are allowed up to 5 items per visit. *Note: Three (3) pink label item limit per visit.
  • Please bring a reusable grocery bag for your grocery items.

Shelves are full of meals and snacks

How do I access services?

Stop by Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai at Portable Building 22, Room 101, during hours of operation with your validated UH Hilo student ID to receive a food pantry ID card (new students), or to validate your existing food pantry ID card (returning students). After your initial visit each semester, only the food pantry ID card is needed to receive services. All we ask is that students use Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai services only as needed so we are able to serve as many students in need as possible. The process is simple, and the friendly Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai staff are available to assist you.

Pool Student Life Center PB 22

Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai Support Programs

Compliementary items such as bananas and citrus may also be available

  • Pop Up for Hunger Program: The Teapresso Bar at the Library Lanai is the first food and beverage vendor participating in this program. A portion of Teapresso Bar drink sales support Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai operations.
  • Hana Hou Catering Program: When available, Sodexo will donate leftover food from catering events to Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai program participants.
  • Swipes for Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai Program:
    • Students with Sodexo meal plan flex points can donate their unused flex points to Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai at the end of spring semester.
    • Sodexo converts the unused flex points into food donations for Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai.
    • This past spring semester, UH Hilo students donated unused flex points valued at $3,130 to support Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai .

More About the Program

What is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity is a situation where consistent and reliable access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources.

“Food insecurity among college students is a growing concern for campuses across the nation. Simply stated, hungry students have a harder time learning and graduating. And the stresses of paying for college all too often mean students don’t have enough money for the food they need. We face this serious issue across our University of Hawaiʻi system as well”.

- President David Lassner (April 24, 2018)

“Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai”

The name Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai was created in collaboration with Larry Kimura, Hawaiian language professor and cultural practitioner from UH Hilo Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani, which eloquently describes the food pantry program’s vision to provide students with a welcome place to receive an offering of food. Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai is not intended to supply all food a student needs for the week, but will provide supplemental food to students in need of this type of support.