Taking Care of Our Vulnerable Families and Frontline Workers

When COVID-19 prompted the shutdown of our schools and businesses to minimize the spread of the virus, Keith with the support of Team Amemiya shifted its efforts to deliver 14,000 meals to our community members across the island.

As a member of the state’s Jump Start Breakfast Advisory Board, a task force with the mission of getting more kids to eat a nutritious breakfast in schools, Keith recognized the closing of schools could mean the end of a reliable source of food. Knowing that there would be great need in our communities, he reached out to principals whom he knew and asked how he could help. For a week-and-a-half, our team served grab-and-go meals at Pālolo and Kauluwela Elementary Schools.

For the month of May, Team Amemiya served 300 meals every day to our health care professionals at Straub Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center, and Hawai‘i State Hospital. We also delivered meals to families living at Hale Maluhia, permanent supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence and their children who are exiting shelter or fleeing a dangerous situation. As a former board member of the Domestic Violence Action Center, Keith understands that home isn’t safe for everyone, particularly during stressful times.

COVID-19 has forced us to confront uncomfortable truths. Families had to wait for hours to get food. Workers had to wait for weeks in frustration and agony for their unemployment checks.

But what we also saw were communities figuring out ways to help their neighbors in need. Our island’s ability to rise above divisiveness, build bridges, and tear down barriers is ultimately what will allow us to thrive as a community. Now we must carry these lessons and entrepreneurial action into our recovery as a community. Our vision for the next decade and beyond is rooted in the belief that a healthy O‘ahu depends on healthy people, a healthy economy, and a healthy environment. Read more about Keith’s Recovery Plan for Oahu here.

Mahalo to Our Volunteers

“Change in Hawaii needs to happen and Keith Amemiya is leading that change.  I’m happy to volunteer to help the keiki and be a part of a great initiative alongside a great candidate.”

Brandi Lelepali

“I am grateful that this opportunity to feed our local kids is available to our community. During this time we all need to come together and give a helping hand. So it makes me happy to help out in any way to keep us all healthy during this process. With many life worries that are going on, feeding our children should not be an issue and I’m happy to be part of a team that provides free healthy meals.

Janet Corado

“I do this because I know there are families that are less fortunate than I am and they depend on these meals to feed their children. As a single mom, I can’t imagine not being able to provide for my son and I’m grateful for any help I can get with him. I’m just doing my part to help other parents have one less thing to worry about during this difficult time.”

Melina Hicks

“Packing these meals for the kids is gratifying because I have compassion for the all the families who are struggling right now. I know times are hard and I’ll do anything I can to help.”

Kelly Kato

“The only way we come out of this is if we give more than we were all giving before.  This has been such an amazing opportunity for us to make an impact on communities that need the most help.  Kids need our support now more than ever and I’m grateful for the chance to be able to give back.”

Kristen Kawabata