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Maui Fire Relief

The Impact We're Making

Since August 2023, Common Ground Collective has been working nonstop to nourish families through a combination of assistance that includes hot meals and groceries that are distributed through Maui's community-run relief hubs.

In 2023, we helped with the logistics, funding and distribution of more than 240,000 hot meals to meet the immediate needs of displaced families, thousands of whom are still living in hotel rooms without kitchens to cook. This program ended up being the first mass feeding effort launched after the fires. Besides our hot meals program, Common Ground Collective launched a range of other community support programs in the fires' wake, including turkey giveaways during holidays and distributing hundreds of donated coolers to families, many of whom only had access to mini fridges, with limited space to store food, medicine, snacks and drinks.

After disaster strikes, it's considered a best practice for local governments and other agency partners to stand up an emergency feeding task force to ensure that displaced families don't go hungry after losing homes, income and the means of transportation needed to travel to grocery stores or meal-distribution hubs. Common Ground Collective's Executive Director Jennifer Karaca spearheaded the effort to launch what is now called the Maui Emergency Feeding Taskforce, as a solution to open the lines of communication among community organizers and government officials, advocate for greater collaboration, and ease daily burdens on displaced families.

The Taskforce, which has been meeting multiple times a month since its inception, includes community hub leaders, local businesses, restaurants, chefs and nonprofits. the group has also begun community plans to strengthen the local food system and more quickly respond to residents' needs during future crisis.

Earlier this year, Common Ground Collective also became a leading member on Maui's Long-Term Recovery Group's "Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster" (or VOAD) Work Group.

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