Bulk of food bank’s budget covers nonfood costs

It is not too difficult to determine what part of each dollar received by the Maui Food Bank reaches the hungry in the form of food.

During the fiscal year ended June 30, the Maui Food Bank purchased food in the amount of $296,922, or 20 percent of the $1,477,108 received from donations, grants and other sources. Almost 43 percent of the remaining $1,180,186 was spent on employee-related expenses (not including payroll taxes and management salaries). Ten employees and one director are listed. These 11 received $500,888 in wages, salaries and benefits.

Looked at from another angle, the food bank distributed donated and purchased food with a value of $3,164,562. It is estimated that 6,000 meals are served on days of operation.

Of the total cash received, 20 percent went toward the purchase of food; about 35 percent of cash collected was used to pay employees; about 7 percent remained unspent; and the rest went toward operating costs. Almost all the food collected was given to the hungry.

Thus, 73 percent of the cash collected was spent on nonfood items: wages, salaries, benefits, costs of distribution, fundraising, utilities, etc.

People might conclude that $500,000 is too much to pay to 11 employees. Others might suggest that more workers from among the hungry might be hired at lower pay and fewer hours. Others might support the status quo.

Raphael O’Suna