(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday voted to support various measures granting funds to assist food distribution efforts across the island, as food security has become a concern for many during the sudden, drastic economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
One resolution, for example, transferred $27,900 to the Food Basket. The measure was introduced by Puna councilowman Ashley Kierkiewicz and utilized her district 4 contingency relief account. Resolution 573-20 reads, in part:
A RESOLUTION TRANSFERRING/APPROPRIATING AN APPROPRIATION OUT AND FROM A DESIGNATED FUND ACCOUNT AND CREDITING SAME TO A DESIGNATED FUND ACCOUNT TO PROVIDE A GRANT TO THE FOOD BASKET, INC., FOR EXPENSES RELATED TO COVID-19 EMERGENCY FOOD DISTRIBUTION.
WHEREAS, The Food Basket, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to end hunger in Hawaiʻi County with programs that provide food, promote the value of nutrition, and increase self-sufficiency; and
WHEREAS, The Food Basket, Inc., is working with numerous organizations and community groups to activate an island wide network of resilience and help the most vulnerable receive food support and essential supplies during the COVID- 19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, the COVID- 19 virus has generated anxiety, uncertainty, and reasonable concerns about our near future; however, with everyone working together in a coordinated way, we can ensure our keiki, kupuna, and our most vulnerable have what they need during this difficult time; and
WHEREAS, The Food Basket, Inc., is requesting funds for packaging, signage, supply of non-perishable goods, fresh locally-grown produce, and educational materials for COVID- 19 emergency food distribution such as ʻOhana Drops and Activate Hawaiʻi Aid Keiki Care Packs; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Research and Development supports the development of a local economy that is diverse, stable, and in balance with Hawaiʻi’ s ecology, community character, and cultural heritage; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 2- 139( a)( 2)(A) ofthe Hawaiʻi County Code, Contingency Relief funds shall be transferred to an accepting County department/agency via resolution identifying the nonprofit organization and the specific program, project, event, activity, service, equipment, materials, or supplies for which the grant shall be used; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAII that Contingency Relief funds from Council District 4 will be appropriated to the Department of Research and Development to provide a grant to The Food Basket, Inc., for expenses related to COVID- 19 emergency food distribution.