Honolulu, Hawai`i, Jan. 17, 2022 — The American Heart Association (Association), a global force for healthier lives for all, alongside Hawaiian Airlines is supporting food access organizations in Hawai`i by hosting a heart healthy food drive Jan. 16-30. 
Healthy foods serve as the basis of optimal health and choosing healthy options is easier when food access organizations distribute foods that provide ample nutrition. People who face food insecurity are at a higher risk for chronic conditions due in part to the consumption of unhealthy foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. Hawai`i's statewide network of food banks recognizes that consistent, equitable access to safe and healthy food is a fundamental human right. Accordingly, food banks like Hawai‘i Foodbank are prioritizing programs and initiatives to provide healthier food options to the communities they serve. Consistent access to adequate nutrition increases everyone’s ability to live a healthy and full life and can even reverse chronic disease caused by the consumption of unhealthy foods.
The food drive is a part of the American Heart Association’s Heart of Hawai`i campaign, a year-round health effort culminating at its annual Heart Ball. Hawaiian Airlines is leading the Heart of Hawai`i company efforts to support the healthy food drive and serve as an example for other companies to host their own healthy food drives working with the Association. 
“Hawaiian Airlines and its employees support Hawai`i food banks year-round, but as part of our sponsorship of the American Heart Association’s Heart of Hawai`i campaign we’re placing an emphasis on encouraging our employees to make healthy food donations,” said Shannon Okinaka, co-chair of the 2023 Heart of Hawai`i campaign and Hawaiian Airlines executive vice president and chief financial officer. “The Association offers excellent science-based nutrition guidance for food donations, even catering to our local food culture, which we’re offering to our employees to guide their healthy donations. We want to encourage donations that will help those we’re seeking to assist not only have access to food, but to have access to food that will help their families live healthier lives.”
Healthy foods collected in the food drive should follow the Association’s nutritional recommendations including low saturated fat, low sodium and no added sugar. These foods are the highest in nutrition and contribute the nutrients that are most beneficial in avoiding the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and stroke. 
Items include:
  • Beverages- water, 100% fruit juice, low-fat, powdered milk
  • Proteins- unsalted nuts, natural peanut butter, canned meat with no added sodium, beans either dried or no-sodium
  • Whole Grains- whole wheat pasta, whole wheat crackers, whole grain cereals, whole grain, natural granola bars, brown rice
  • Canned and Dry Goods- canned vegetables with no added sodium, canned fruit in 100% fruit juice, natural applesauce, soups with low or no sodium, dried fruit with no added sugar and healthier cooking oils such as olive oil 
Go to heart.org/Hawaii to download the Association’s healthy food donations guidance document.
The Hawaiian Airlines food drive, working with the American Heart Association, will assist food access organizations to provide the nutrition access needed to live full, healthy lives. Food access organizations need more high quality, healthy options as an important resource to support optimal health. Items offering low nutritional value make it difficult for food access organizations to support the health of shoppers and perpetuates inequities that contribute to negative health outcomes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a problem that has long existed in Honolulu County – nutrition insecurity, or a household’s inability to provide enough nutritious food for every person to live an active, healthy life,” said Glaiza Kamano, American Heart Association Hawai`i Division executive director. “Today, local families are finding it harder than ever to put nutritious food on the table. According to data from Feeding America, the number of Hawai`i residents dealing with food insecurity has grown by 51 percent since 2019. In addition, about 81,000 keiki across the state are food insecure this year. We’re so excited to engage companies that support and work with the Association, like Hawaiian Airlines, to address that important issue with us. Together we feel we can make a meaningful change in the health disparities unfortunately that are all too common in our communities.”
The items from the Hawaiian Airlines healthy food drive will be donated to Hawai‘i Foodbank on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i, Maui Food Bank and The Food Basket on Hawai‘i Island. To support the healthy food drive, items can be dropped off at from Jan. 16-30 at the following locations:
  • Hawai‘i Foodbank, 2611 Kilihau St., Honolulu, HI 96819, 808-836-3600
  • Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i, 4241 Hanahoa Pl., Ste. 101, Lihue, HI 96766, 808-482-2224
  • Maui Food Bank, 760 Kolu St., Wailuki, HI 96793, 808-243-9500
  • The Food Basket, 40 Holomua St., Hilo, HI 96720, 808-933-6030
  • The Food Basket, 73-4161, Ulu Wini Pl., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, 808-322-1418
The Heart of Hawai`i campaign raises funds to support the American Heart Association’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives while supporting priority issues in Hawai`i. Nutrition insecurity has been identified by the American Heart Association Hawai`i Division board to propel work to support the Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal, reducing barriers to health care access and quality. The 2023 Heart of Hawai`i campaign is chaired by Okinaka and Lauren Nahme, vice president for Strategy & Transformation at Kamehameha Schools. The Hawai`i Heart Ball, a celebration of the Heart of Hawai`i campaign’s positive impacts on community health, will be held on Feb. 11, 2023 at the Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina.
To learn more about engaging your workforce in the Heart of Hawai`i campaign by hosting a healthy food drive, or to learn more about the Heart Ball visit our website or contact Jady Ojiri at Jady.Ojiri@heart.org, or 808.377.6646 for more information.
To donate to the American Heart Association visit heart.org/donate.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Instagram or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1. Or call our Hawai`i Division office at 808-377-6630, go to our local web site heart.org/hawaii, and follow our Hawai`i social media sites on Facebook and Instagram.
For Media Inquiries:
Don Weisman: don.weisman@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)