Hundreds of people in need are expected to gather today for a free meal and resource fair during the Hunger and Homelessness event in the Old Kona Airport Park’s Makaeo Events Pavilion.
The event, happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. It’s organized by Community Alliance Partners, a federally established partnership between state and county government, nonprofit organizations, and community and faith-based groups that focuses on solution-based initiatives to address homelessness. The goal is to heighten awareness and solicit support for local efforts that are actively addressing homelessness and hunger islandwide.
Between 12,000 and 15,000 people in Hawaii are homeless at some point of the year, and at least 6,000 are homeless at any given day. Children make up 23 to 39 percent of the homeless, according to HOPE Services Hawaii. Event organizers could not provide statistics on the estimated total of homeless in West Hawaii as of press time.
During today’s event, attendees can visit booths highlighting various community services available, get free haircuts, enjoy live entertainment, have their dog groomed and win prizes. Donated clothing, shoes and food are also available.