The Salvation Army responds to Puna lava flow - Update No. 11

June 20, 2018
David Sayre | | (808) 221-5025

Hilo, Hawaii, HI [June 20, 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 three emergency shelters in Pahoa and Keaau including Keaau Armory, Pahoa Regional Recreation Facility–Gym, and Pahoa Senior Center. 

Hawaii Community College [Hawaii CC] is now partnering with The Salvation Army to provide meals to residents displaced by the Puna lava flow and Kilauea ash eruption who are staying at the shelters. Hawaii CC’s Culinary Arts program is preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner several days a week for approximately 300 people each meal.

Hawaii CC’s Agriculture program also is growing and harvesting produce at the program’s farm site in Panaewa. 
Faculty, staff and student interns from the Agriculture program are working on the project. So far they have harvested produce that was planted during the spring semester; planted more lettuce; and will soon be planting other vegetables. The produce will be used in the meals prepared by the Culinary Arts program. In addition, Hawaii CC’s Planning, Operations and Maintenance department is assisting with the delivery of meals from the Hilo campus to the shelters.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the eruption,” said Shawn Sumiki, a Hawaii CC Culinary Arts instructor. “There are so many people and organizations helping out during this disaster, and the Hawaii Community College ‘ohana is pleased to be able to use some of the resources we have available to contribute to this effort.”

“We’re grateful that Hawaii CC’s Culinary Arts program could partner with us for shelter meals several times a week,” said Victor Leonardi, Divisional EDS Coordinator for The Salvation Army. “In addition to purchasing these meals in partnership from Hawaii CC, we are continuing to support local restaurants with the purchase of meals on other days. All of this highlights the continued need for monetary donations to support the shelter meal service. We are averaging $35,000 per week in meal purchases. Donations may be made at”

MEAL SERVICE – Since May 9, The Salvation Army has been coordinating the food service with three meals per day to the emergency shelters in the Puna District.  As of June 19, a total of 30,964 meals have been served including 5,943 vegetarian meals. The Salvation Army has worked with local businesses and restaurants, many whom have donated their services, to support feeding operations. HCC’s Culinary Arts program, with support from HCC’s Agriculture program, is providing shelter meals several days a week.

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 June 19, there have been 1,149 visits from 712 households who have received donations from the distribution center including 1,271 mosquito repellant cans, 937 food boxes, 843 cases of water, and 530 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 June 16, a total of 93 households have received financial assistance with a total of $10,765 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 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.
•    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, Kalama Beach Corporation, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.


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.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
Copyright 2024, The Salvation Army. 
Privacy Policy | Contact Us