WCC Meals with a Mission aims to feed hungry students through GoFundMe campaign

The WCC Meals with a Mission program was created in August 2020 to combat food insecurity and promote student success. During the fall and spring semesters, Chef Dan Swift and the Uala Leaf Café staff prepared and served hundreds of students with thousands of meals thanks to donations from professor ameritus Jacquie Maly, the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and Windward CC Ambassadors.

The program was so successful that it was recognized in March 2021 by Honolulu Magazine and Kaneohe Magazine. However, more funds are needed to create meals for students attending the fall 2021 and semesters beyond.

Join us to donate to WCC Meals with a Mission GoFundMe campaign created in partnership with UH Foundation. Every little bit helps feed students and moves them one step closer toward their educational and career goals. 

To help encourage donations, Professor Emerita Jacquie Maly is offering a challenge to the community. “I will match dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 to anyone who believes that students will be better prepared to achieve their goals with the support from Meals with a Mission,” said Maly.

It’s no secret that college students are struggling with food, housing and job insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 50 percent of Wind­ward CC students receive financial aid, food stamps and scholarships to attend college. For many stu­dents, it is not enough. The troubling reality is many Windward CC students don’t get enough to eat. Being hungry affects their focus and can impact their grades.

“Being able to be on campus and continue my schoolwork without having to leave to go buy something is so convenient for us to be able to have these free meals prepared [so we can] concentrate on the work that needs to be done,” said student Alisha Kaluhiokalani. “I’m grateful and I wanted to say mahalo to all the donors and those who have been able to put together Meals with a Mission and make it possible for me to partake.”

“Our ambassador group realizes that the food insecurity issue is basic to the success of many of the students. Knowing that, our focus is to ensure the well-being of the student body in terms of nutrition. I, personally, am delighted and honored to support this,” said Nancy Taylor, Windward CC ambassador.

“Our goal is to feed as many students as possible throughout the semester, so they can focus on their studies, not their hunger,” said Chef Dan Swift from Windward CC’s Uala Leaf Café. “We 100 percent believe that students will be better prepared to achieve their goals with the support from Meals with a Mission. There’s nothing like a good, nutritious meal for boosting creative energy.”

Kimo Adams standing with Koolau mountains behind him in the sun

Fellow student Kimo Adams added, “We hope that these Meals with a Mission will continue so that we will be healthy and that we will be able to continue to move forward with our education here at Windward Community College.”

To donate to the Meals with a Mission food program, visit the GoFundMe page or contact Chancellor Ardis Eschenberg at ardise@hawaii.edu or 808-235-7402. Donations may also be made online.