HEI Charitable Foundation donates $125,000 to Hawaii Foodbank and United Way for COVID-19 aid

Funds to support families in need during health crisis

(Issued by Hawaiian Electric Industries)

Release Date: 3/19/2020

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HONOLULU, Mar. 19, 2020 - The HEI Charitable Foundation (HEICF) has contributed $50,000 to the Hawaii Foodbank and pledged another $75,000 to United Way agencies in support of their efforts to assist Hawaii families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. HEI is the parent company of Hawaiian Electric, American Savings Bank and Pacific Current.

“Our community is experiencing tremendous and increasing hardship as social distancing has required extended closures and school breaks, reduced work hours, and even loss of jobs and benefits,” said Connie Lau, HEI president and CEO. “That’s why we want to help the Hawaii Foodbank and United Way, organizations that provide critical services to our community during these trying times. We hope our donation will inspire others to give if they are able.”

“Hawaii Foodbank is extremely grateful for the generosity and support of the HEI Charitable Foundation,” said Ron Mizutani, president and CEO of Hawaii Foodbank. “We are seeing an extreme rise in demand for food and we are adjusting our food distribution efforts to meet the complex realities of social distancing. It’s times like these that our work together becomes even more visible to our community and even more important to those in need. Financial contributions go much further than food donations in moments like these and HEI Charitable Foundation’s support will help distribution in hard-hit communities across Hawaii.”

HEICF pledged $50,000 to Aloha United Way, $10,000 to Hawaii Island United Way, $10,000 to Maui United Way and $5,000 to Kauai United Way.

“Aloha United Way is on the front lines actively working to protect the health, safety and well-being of our community,” said Norm Baker, Aloha United Way interim president and CEO. “We are experiencing an immediate increased demand for services and support along with a record number of calls to our 2-1-1 helpline. We expect the need to continue to soar and are counting on community support to meet the growing need. Together, with community partners like HEI, we will persevere and help our island ohana return to a stronger, healthy and safe place.”

Hawaii Foodbank is currently preparing for increased hunger-relief aid it provides to vulnerable community members. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency serves Oahu and Kauai directly, and partners with The Food Basket to serve Hawaii County and Maui Food Bank to serve Maui County. To learn more about their efforts or to donate, please visit www.hawaiifoodbank.org.

Since early March, Aloha United Way’s 2-1-1 call center has been open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for information or questions about COVID-19. The information and referral line provides assistance to more than 94,000 people and directs callers to resources provided by its 300-plus partner agencies. To learn more about their efforts or to donate, visit www.auw.org.

About HEI

HEI supplies power to approximately 95% of Hawaii’s population through its electric utility, Hawaiian Electric; provides a wide array of banking and other financial services to consumers and businesses through American Savings Bank, one of Hawaii’s largest financial institutions; and helps advance Hawaii’s clean energy and sustainability goals through investments by its non-regulated subsidiary, Pacific Current, LLC. Hawaii is pursuing some of the most aggressive climate goals in the U.S., including a 100% renewable energy portfolio standard for electricity and a carbon-neutral goal for the entire economy. HEI is deeply involved in helping Hawaii achieve these goals.