Mapunapuna - The Hawaii Foodbank says it gives food to more than 46,000 kupuna every year. In this holiday season, it's asking for your help to take care of our seniors. 

The Hawaii Foodbank says it gives out a million pounds of food every month. Some of that goes to seniors.

Hawaii Foodbank director of mission and quality assurance Kim Bartenstein says, "The need for the seniors is great year-round. There are always struggles for them, whether it's mobility, or a lot of them don't have enough to make it to the end of the month."

Some of the 200 partner agencies who distribute food say they're seeing more elderly come in. Gilbert Jose volunteers at Sacred Hearts Church in Waianae and says, "The majority who come in are seniors."

How much does a box of food mean to them? "Oh, a lot. They don't have that much money," he answers.

The Foodbank is asking the public to coordinate their own drives this month. On December 22, it'll open its warehouse to collect all the donations.

Bartenstein encourages, "Whatever people can give. Monetary donation, canned goods, dry goods. It helps out."

Proteins and non-perishables are always high on the list of needs. They're also asking for fresh food. Hawaii Foodbank president and CEO Ron Mizutani ticks off a list that includes "fruits, vegetables," then he pauses to add, "and of course, rice."

In this season of giving, you're reminded - a little gesture can mean a lot. Bartenstein says, "That one can is somebody's meal, or a family's meal. So it's truly important when we give."

HAWAII FOODBANK'S HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE:
On Saturday, December 22, Hawaii Foodbank staff and volunteers will collect canned and non-perishable food and monetary donations at its Mapunapuna warehouse on 2611 Kilihau Street from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vehicles of all sizes are welcome. Santa will also be on hand to take pictures with families.

For more information, visit www.hawaiifoodbank.org or call (808) 836-3600.