Taking care of his neighbors …

Taking care of his neighbors …

Alaska Man Makes 14-Hour Boat Ride to Help Feed Town

When the citizens of the remote Alaskan town of Gustavus, accessible only by ferry or sea plane, suddenly found themselves without their main lifeline – the State run ferry that had shut down due to COVID-19 concerns,  Toshua Parker, owner of Icy Strait Wholesale, the town’s only grocery store, stepped up to transport supplies.  He makes a 14-hour trip weekly to Juneau which is about 50 miles away to pick up supplies and groceries for his town. The journey ends up being closer to 24 hours most of the time as he is forced to adjust to tides and the only docking area on a river.  Toshua doesn’t hike up prices in his store to cover this extra effort, despite the personal cost to him, saying that it is important to give back to his neighbors right now. 

College Students Create New Ways for Farmers to Donate

College Students Create New Ways for Farmers to Donate

Farm Link Project urgently works at connecting farms with surplus to food banks in need at scale. There is so much work to be done, and they need your help. Join them today to make hunger one less thing Americans need to worry about during this crisis.

FarmLink Project Mission:

The FarmLink Project is a grassroots movement striving to prevent food waste and alleviate food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. While farms are experiencing extreme surplus due to reduced commercial orders, food banks are facing soaring demand and shortages of donated food. FarmLink is innovating a new supply chain to transport surplus produce from farms to food banks in need. 100% of donations to FarmLink are used to purchase produce and pay the wages of farmers and truckers. We keep employees staffed, prevent fresh produce from ending up in landfills, and put food onto the tables of those who need it most.

If you would like to join our effort or contribute in any way, please email contact@thefarmlinkproject.org.



ThanksGIVING – a family shares meals with local homeless families.

Hawaii News Now – 11/28/19

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – Todd Matsumoto owns Matsumoto’s Okazuya Restaurant in Kalihi.

About a decade ago, he noticed that many of his friends he grew up with were living homeless along the Kapalama Canal.

“So we made 10 plates and I took it to them and their families. The following year, there was more people so we started doing a little more,” Matsumoto said.

“As the years have gone by we just started doing 50 to about 70 plates. I think we’re now about 100 plates now.”

Each Thanksgiving eve, he and a group of family members and friends volunteer to cook a full feast with all the fixings.

They deliver the food themselves to neighborhoods with large homeless encampments, such as Thomas Square, Kakaako and Iwilei.

Matsumoto says many of the recipients have been on the streets for a while.

He said some people don’t feel comfortable going to a public event or homeless shelter for their Thanksgiving meal.

“A lot of people don’t want to be seen,” Matsumoto said. “Everybody has their own problems.”

click below to watch video

Aiming to Help New Orleans Foster Youth

Aiming to Help New Orleans Foster Youth

Restaurant owner works to help kids in foster care

Written by Dylan Hyman / Stitch

Sonya Brown-Tillison is putting together two of her passions: Food and helping kids in foster care.

“I’ve just had kids that have naturally followed me throughout the years,” she said.

She relates to them because she, too, was in foster care.

Sonya became a social worker with a focus on kids aging out of foster care. Now, she employs foster kids at her restaurant, NOLA Vegan Cafe in New Orleans.

“When kids age out of foster care, their focus is housing, employment and education. A lot of times, they don’t have a lot of work experience at 18,” Sonya said.

Shining her Light through Birthday Boxes

Shining her Light through Birthday Boxes

A 9-year-old girl is working hard to ensure that none of her classmates miss a birthday celebration.

Two years ago, Bella Smith, a third-grade student at Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary School in Kentucky, launched “Bella’s Boxes.”

Bella started the project after a fellow student told her that his family couldn’t afford to have a party for him, Smith’s mom, Marlana Evans, told “Good Morning America.”

“The school she attends is a Title 1 school, which means 80% of the population here is impoverished — so we have students that struggle with a lot of things,” said Evans, who teaches at Bella’s school.

Bella accepts donations of balloons, cake mix and other party supplies and packs them up for her fellow students at Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary School in Ky.

Evans said that Wyan-Pine has a backpack club which sends home to students that need it. Bella fills her “birthday boxes” with cake mix, balloons, icing, sprinkles and distributes them through the school’s Family Resource Center.

Bella receives all supplies through donations from community members. For her own birthday, March 26, she requests birthday box donations instead of gifts.

“I’m extremely proud of her,” Evans said. “She’s a very good girl with a big heart.”

Bella has packed 65 birthday boxes this year and is still going.

“I thank God for the opportunity for letting me be able to shine my light and show that I love my neighbor,” says Bella. 


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