The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association distributed 25,000 pounds of rice throughout Maui County in November and December.
The annual "Rice for the Holidays" program began in 2008 when MHLA partnered with Jim Coon of Trilogy Excursions in the annual giveaway of turkeys to residents of Lanai by adding a 5- pound bag of rice.
Since then, the program has expanded to include rice for food distributions on Maui and Molokai. In 2011, Hana was added to the distribution. The rice was distributed on Lanai on Nov. 23; and on Molokai and in Hana on Dec. 7. On Maui the rice is being distributed through Feed My Sheep.
Lanai rice giveaway participants included Randy Coon, Trilogy Excursions (from left); Gov. Neil Abercrombie; Lisa Paulson, Maui Hotel & Lodging Association; and Jim Coon, Trilogy Excursions.
MHLA partners with many of its members to make this food distribution possible, including Costco, Young Brothers and Island Movers.
"This annual food distribution would not be possible without the support of our members." said Lisa Paulson, executive director for MHLA. "Maui's visitor industry is a big believer in taking care of the community in which we all live."