The Salvation Army Responds to Puna Lava Flow - supporting local economy

May 29, 2018
David Sayre | | (808) 221-5025

Local economy to be supported by expanded program to purchase shelter meals and distribution center items via local restaurants and businesses 
-14,024 meals, including 3,263 vegetarian meals, served between May 9 and 27- 
-398 households have received donations via the distribution center between May 13 and 26-

Hilo, Hawaii, HI [May 29, 2018] – Emergency Disaster Services [EDS] personnel and volunteers from The Salvation Army are supporting those affected by the Puna lava flow with meal coordination, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care at the five emergency shelters in Pahoa and Keaau including Keaau Community Center, Pahoa Community Center, Pahoa Regional Recreation Facility–Gym, Pahoa Senior Center, and Sure Foundation Puna Church. 

“We are so appreciative of the businesses, organizations, and individuals that have helped support our daily meal services at the shelters and the distribution center,” said John Berglund, Territorial EDS Director for The Salvation Army. “And, thanks to those who have provided monetary donations, we’ve been able to supplement meal donations with purchases to provide continuous meal service at the shelters and items for the distribution center. Going forward, we will expand our local purchases to help out the local economy by supporting restaurants and businesses as much as possible by purchasing meals and distribution center items not only to help those at the shelters, but also to help businesses economically challenged by the ongoing lava flow. The Salvation Army is in communities before, during and after disasters and we feel this support is the right thing to do to help maintain the economic vitality of the Puna area as the community continues to respond to the ongoing eruption.”

MEAL SERVICE – Since May 9, The Salvation Army has been coordinating the food service with three meals per day to the five emergency shelters in the Puna District.  As of May 27, a total of 14,024 meals have been served including 3,263 vegetarian meals. The Salvation Army has worked with local businesses and restaurants, many whom have donated their services, to support feeding operations. Ongoing feeding operations will continue to focus on supporting local businesses, including many that have been economically impacted by this event.  The Salvation Army also is planning food service for the potential of mandatory evacuations in the event of a catastrophic event.

DISTRIBUTION CENTER – Since May 13, The Salvation Army has been operating a distribution center at the Pahoa Community Center in the Puna District. As of May 26, a total of 398 households have received donations from the distribution center including 880 mosquito repellant cans, 393 food boxes, 361 cases of water, and 183 hygiene kits. The distribution center is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE – Since May 9, The Salvation Army has supporting affected households with financial assistance to The Salvation Army’s three thrift stores on the Island of Hawaii. As of May 26, a total of 40 households have received financial assistance with a total of $5,240 in vouchers that can be redeemed at The Salvation Army’s thrift stores in Hilo, Honokaa, and Kailua-Kona.

DONATIONS - During emergencies, the best way the public can help is to provide monetary donations which allows the delivery of the exact relief supplies a community needs including the ability to purchase meals and key distribution center items to support the local economy. Plus, The Salvation Army uses 100 percent of all donations designated ‘disaster relief’ in support of disaster operations.” To donate, visit

The public also may support The Salvation Army’s EDS efforts with monetary donations via the following corporate partnerships:
•    Bank of Hawaii – Bank of Hawaii announced that donations to The Salvation Army’s EDS efforts can now be made at any of Bank of Hawaii’s 69 branches across Hawaii, the West Pacific Region and American Samoa.
•    Central Pacific Bank – Central Pacific Bank  announced its 35 branch locations will be accepting monetary donations to benefit Hawaii disaster relief efforts. Monetary donations will be accepted through May 31, 2018 and will go toward The Salvation Army's EDS efforts in Hawaii, with the opportunity for customers to designate support of either Hawaii Island or Kauai relief and recovery efforts.
•    First Hawaiian Bank - Aloha for Hawaii Fund to support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts for the Kilauea Volcano Eruption on the Big Island and recovery efforts for flooding on Kauai and in East Oahu. Donations can now be made at any of First Hawaiian Bank’s 61 branches located in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan.
•    Foodland - "Aloha for Puna & Pahoa" Disaster Relief (The Salvation Army). Customers will be able to make monetary donations at all Foodland and Sack N Save stores and Malama Markets in Hawaii in $5, $10 or $20 amounts beginning May 9. Donations will go towards The Salvation Army’s EDS efforts.
•    HiLife – Kokua Collection – A percentage of the proceeds from various HiLife clothing items in their Kokua Collection will be donated to Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Islands division to assist with their relief efforts to victims of recent devastating floods on Oahu and Kauai as well as erupting volcano on Hawaii island. For details, visit

Corporate and foundation contributions to The Salvation Army’s EDS efforts in Hawaii to date have included: Ansaldo Honolulu JV; Bank of Hawaii Foundation; Central Pacific Bank Foundation; Enterprise, Alamo & National Car Rental Hawaii, Hawaii Community Foundation, Hawaiian Airlines, Hemic, Kaiser Permanente, and Kalama Beach Corporation.


About The Salvation Army Disaster Services
The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to serve those impacted by disasters, however long it takes, because they are there before, during, and after impact. Beyond serving immediate physical needs, they also meet the emotional and spiritual needs that are unique to catastrophic events. The Salvation Army:
• Delivers disaster relief to an average of 382,000 people annually.
• Serves every ZIP code in the United States and touches almost 25 million lives a year.
• Has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900.
• Remains in communities until needs are met and beyond.

About The Salvation Army – Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division
The Salvation Army – Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division covers the state of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands including Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands and The Federated States of Micronesia. The Division offers a wide variety of programs throughout the islands including: adult day health services; affordable senior housing; at-risk youth services and housing; camp & conference center; family stores; food distribution and feeding programs; homeless services; The Kroc Center – Hawaii’s largest community center; preschools & day care services; social services – emergency assistance; substance abuse treatment; and work therapy & rehabilitation services. For more information, call 808-988-2136, visit, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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