The major goal of The Private Sector Hawaii Purple Van Food Program is the distribution of food to families, the elderly, disabled, and individuals on the North Shore of Oahu. The Private Sector Hawaii functions as an all-volunteer charity without administrative cost, therefore a high percentage of donated funds go directly into food acquired either through donation or purchase, and the costs of pick up and distribution. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays volunteers deliver bountiful boxes of food to as many families as possible, each box containing turkey at Thanksgiving and ham at Christmas.
This year of the pandemic has been a challenge which our fearless volunteers have met. As we modified our best practices, we continued to obtain food, create food boxes, and deliver them to those who have called. When someone says, “the purple van has arrived”, it means a large box of food. There is a sign on the van and on our business cards: “Purple Van, call for a food box, then our number. Also, we are known in the community by word of mouth.
Our Program is unique in that we deliver food boxes by request to where the people live. We are the only “by request” food box delivery program on the North Shore. People call our number, request a box, and volunteers deliver the boxes on a weekly basis practicing social distancing and wearing masks.
The economy of the North Shore is reeling from the virus. The economy relies on tourist dollars, and these dollars have not returned. The local news states that Haleiwa is going broke. The reality of the low and moderate-income population of the North Shore is even more of a struggle. Seniors and families in our area are hungry. While some are truly destitute, the majority fall into the definition of “food insecure”: Seniors out of food waiting for their next social security check; the homeless men and women living in cars and in hidden corners of the North Shore old cane fields and out of the way beaches; single mothers wondering how they can keep their children fed until the first of the month without the school food program; and the working poor families. Basic rent during the pandemic takes the bulk of income, hopefully enough to avoid eviction, a constant fear, leaving food for last.
The assistance that we provide with our large food boxes enables families and individuals some relief from the economic and emotional stress of the pandemic. Our staff is all volunteer so whatever financial support we receive goes directly to the Purple Van Food Distribution Program to obtain food, gas, maintenance and insurance for our van, utilities for the refrigeration, and minimal office supplies.
Thank you so much for your consideration. Mahalo.