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Hawaii Food Basket

Fill Your Cup Spotlight- Leelen Park, Hawai’i Food Basket

Through a community partnership with Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water, Big Island Pulse will be featuring an individual or organization to shed light on the incredible things they are doing to provide support to our Big Island Communities. This month, we are honored to present Leelen Park and The Food Basket, Hawaiʻi island’s Food Bank for our Fill Your Cup Spotlight! 

The Man with Multiple Hats

 The Food Basket is known throughout Hawaiʻi for the gracious services that they provide to end hunger in our communities. Leelen Park is among the many humble people that make up this team. Their actions and efforts have helped thousands of families and they continue tirelessly and proudly to serve for the greater good of our people here on the Big Island.

“Imagine the family that has both parents working two or more jobs, struggling to make ends meet; imagine the Keiki that comes home from a long day at school, hungry, to open an empty refrigerator and empty cabinets; now imagine the kupuna who is forced to limit the amount of food they eat to have enough food to last them the month. These are the people we serve at The Food Basket and the lives we are making a difference in.” said Park.

Park Makes it Happen!

Park, whose main title is the Deputy Director of Healthy Food Access
Initiatives, handles the following programs that we all are familiar with in
some way or another:

-Da Bux Discount (50% off produce at select Foodland/KTA/Malama stores)
-Emergency Food
-Kaukau for Keiki (Produce bag valued at $18 & a $35 gift card for food shopping
through the Hawai’i County Summer Fun sites)
-Keiki Backpack (Nutritional and supplemental food provided to school-aged
children who receive free or reduced meals)
-Kōkua Harvest (“Gleaning” or Food Rescue aimed at reducing food waste)
-Kūpuna Pantry (partnering with the Hilo Crescent City Lion’s Club)
-Snap Outreach
-Ohana Food Drops

Through his many hats, Park has been able to service the many populations
in our communities that are affected with food insecurity with grace and grit- qualities that are required when working through a very important non-profit

He is also a proud member of the Hilo Crescent City Lions, connecting the
organization with the Waiākea Water Kōkua Initiative to hold monthly food drives for the Hawaiʻi Food Basket, as well! Doing this maximized donations and manpower to bring in supply to help keep HFB stocked for the community!

Wow, just WOW! Is there anything that this man doesn’t do?

In His Own Words...

“Being born and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, it is a privilege to serve my community in this capacity, and humbling to be a part of an organization like this. The Food Basket’s mission is simple: we are here to end hunger on Hawaiʻi Island, a straightforward concept that holds so much meaning. I truly admire the people I work with and am enthused about our impact on our local economy. Volunteers are the backbone of our organizations; without volunteer organizations like the Lions Club, we would not be able to serve in the capacity we do. We are also fortunate to have a network of excellent community partners we work with daily to ensure we meet our struggling families’ needs. In truth, our community is what makes us who we are, and we strive to help make up our Hawaiʻi Island community.” 

Mahalo to Leelen Park, Our Very First FYC Spotlight Recipient!!!

Mahalo to Leelen Park, our very first Fill Your Cup featured individual. We
appreciate all that you and the many who stand alongside you do everyday, to provide the
people of Hawaiʻi Island with the many services that you oversee. 

We applaud all of you for a job well done!!! 

If you would like to make a contribution to the Hawaiʻi Food Basket or are in need of food assistance, please contact the organization through any one of the options below:

In person/by phone: 
Hilo- 40 Holomua Street, Hilo, HI 96720  Phone: 808-933-6030
Kona- 73-4161 Ulu Place Street, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740  Phone: 808-322-1418
Website: https://www.hawaiifoodbasket.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HawaiiFoodBasket/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/thefoodbaskethi/

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