Local businesses help Hawaii fire victims

Restaurant group and food service company donate money, supplies
Arial photo of Lahainaluna neighborhood in Lahaina, Hawaii. Adobe Stock.

As America continues to witness the tragic unfolding of events related to the fires that swept through the town of Lahaina in West Maui, Hawaii on Aug. 8, local businesses are doing what they can to help. 

Hospitality group Restaurant Partners, which operates a number of restaurants in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area, embraced the Aloha Spirit by holding a “Day of Giving” fundraiser in an effort to send aid to their comrades in Hawaii.

“Hawaii is a beautiful state, and the families who live there thrive in the restaurant and hospitality sector, which is now destroyed. They pour their hearts out to visitors, and these 21 Michigan restaurants are working to bring our community together in the ‘Aloha Spirit’ to help their fellow Americans,” said Jeff Lobdell, vice-chair of the National Association of Restaurants and CEO of Restaurant Partners, which operates some of these familiar Grand Rapids franchises and establishments: Bagel Beanery; Beltline Bar; Grand Coney; Noble Restaurant; Omelette Shoppe; Pete’s Grill & Tavern; Rainbow Grill; Real Food Cafe; Red Geranium Cafe and Sundance Grill. 

The company donated all profits from sales on Tuesday, August 22 to the Hawaii Restaurant Association Relief Fund and the American Red Cross Hawaii Wildfires Disaster Relief Fund.

“More than ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’, our ‘Aloha Spirit’ is an expression of love from our state to theirs, and an extension of warmth in caring with no obligation in return,” Lobdell said. 

SpartanNash donates to disaster relief efforts in Maui through charity, Convoy of Hope. Courtesy photo.

Another Grand Rapids based food service company sent aid to support disaster relief efforts as well. SpartanNash donated two truckloads of food and bottled water to residents of Maui who were impacted by fast-moving fires that swept the island Aug. 8. The food solutions company is committed to leveraging its vast distribution network and food logistics expertise to provide aid when and where it is most needed. The company partnered with Convoy of Hope to ship products quickly and efficiently to Maui. In addition to its product donations, SpartanNash provided $25,000 in financial support to the Hawaii Community Foundation in collaboration with the American Logistics Association. 

“The destruction and devastation caused by the wildfires in Maui is heartbreaking,” said SpartanNash CEO Tony Sarsam. “As a People First company, we are dedicated to committing time and resources to communities in need. SpartanNash is proud to work with Convoy of Hope and ALA to provide essential items and comfort for residents at this dire time.”

Convoy of Hope has deployed more than one hundred volunteers and many supplies to assist the community in the deadliest wildfires the U.S has seen in more than a century. 

“We are grateful to once again work with SpartanNash to quickly distribute supplies to people in need,” said Convoy of Hope Vice President of Public Engagement Ethan Forhetz. “Communities in Maui need our support more than ever, and SpartanNash’s generous donation will help provide hope and care in these challenging times.”

For more information or to donate to Convoy of Hope, visit convoyofhope.org.

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