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Anonymous donor pays for kupuna groceries

The Maui News

An anonymous donor paid for residents’ groceries during the special kupuna shopping hour on Thursday at 32 Foodland stores statewide.

Shoppers at all Foodland, Sack N Save and Foodland Farms locations were notified at checkout that the groceries they had purchased were free, the company said in a news release.

Dubbed “Operation Kupuna,” the top-secret mission was planned by the donor’s representatives and a few Foodland executives. Foodland stores directors and cashiers were only notified 30 minutes before stores opened this morning.

“We feel so fortunate to have been able to play a small part in helping our anonymous donor surprise and delight our kupuna this morning and will forever remember the truly amazing act of selfless aloha that happened today at Foodland,” said Jenai S. Wall, Foodland chairman and CEO, in a statement.

Nearly 2,000 kupuna shopped at Foodland stores from 6 to 7 a.m. Thursday and had their groceries paid in full.

Jonathan Hung, assistant store manager at Foodland Farms in Lahaina, told The Maui News that gift cards were “divvied up amongst the stores based on the volume.” The Lahaina store received 12 gift cards worth $159 each, or $1,908. Hung said the store used it all.

Willie Dahilig, assistant store director at Foodland Kehalani, said that about 75 to 100 people had their groceries covered during the kupuna shopping hour, for a total close to $4,000.

“They’re very, very happy,” Dahilig said. “They’re just as surprised.”

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