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A&B gives $57,000 in grants

The Alexander & Baldwin Kokua Giving program has provided $57,000 in grants to six Maui County nonprofit organizations for COVID-19 related relief programs.

A&B recently announced the completion of the first round of giving to Maui nonprofits that support critical needs in the areas of housing, food and health. Money will be used for emergency rental assistance and financial counseling, kupuna and family meals, and an improved site for COVID-19 symptom screening at a local senior care home.

“Our employees are our eyes and ears on the ground, helping us to understand the most urgent needs in the community. We are also working closely with our Maui nonprofit partners to identify the immediate and long-term needs created by the impacts of   the pandemic,” said Meredith Ching, A&B executive vice president for external affairs. “These first grants are a result of those conversations. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the people of Maui and dedicated to the community organizations providing critical services in these unprecedented times.”

The grant recipients are:

• Hale Mahaolu, $20,000, rental assistance and financial counseling.

• Kaunoa Senior Services, $20,000, kupuna meal delivery program.

• Maui United Way, $5,000 with additional $2,500 from A&B subsidiary Grace Pacific, COVID-19 Emergency Safety Net Fund.

• Maui Economic Opportunity, $5,000, administration of COVID-19-related financial assistance programs.

• Hale Makua Health Services, $3,000, COVID-19 visitor screening facility.

• Friendly Island United Way, $1,500, support for emergency meals and other priority programs.

Kaunoa Senior Services, operator of Leisure and Congregate Nutrition classes and activities, converted to a home delivered meals program due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

“We could never have imagined how challenging 2020 would be for all of us, especially the seniors who remained homebound during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ruth Griffith, administrator for Kaunoa Senior Services. “With A&B’s continued support, Kaunoa was able to seamlessly transition our Senior Nutrition Program from providing meals for seniors at congregate lunch sites to delivering meals safely to their homes.”

Hale Mahaolu develops, owns and manages low- and moderate-income housing for Maui’s families, seniors and those with disabilities.

“The support that A&B is providing to Hale Mahaolu’s rental assistance program is of huge significance to our tenants, particularly those who reside at our family housing sites and work in businesses which are tourism oriented,” said Grant Chun, executive director of Hale Mahaolu. “Many of these families’ breadwinners have been furloughed or laid off from their jobs, thus creating a great deal of pressure on them to make ends meet for their families.

“The infusion of funds into this program by A&B comes at just the right moment, when the funds that we have previously allocated to the program are close to being depleted.”

The remainder of the COVID-19 designated funds will be distributed later this year to address an anticipated increase in pandemic-related needs.

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