Students raise awareness with Aloha Walk

 

ASUH officers asked participants to bring in two canned foods to help refill the campus food pantry – Courtesy of Ka‘ahu Alo

ASUH officers asked participants to bring in two canned foods to help refill the campus food pantry – Courtesy of Ka‘ahu Alo

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, volunteers from WCC’s student life office hosted the inaugural Aloha Walk.

The walk, which took place from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., involved taking laps around campus, while promoting a healthy lifestyle of eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly.

Participants started their laps in front of the Imaginarium and walked towards Hale Pālanakila and then around campus in a counterclockwise fashion. They also got to enjoy complimentary food along the way, which included homemade Spam musubis as well as fruits like bananas and oranges.

The purpose of the walk was to raise awareness about the school’s food pantry, a place on campus where canned foods can be left and made available to struggling students. Associated Students of the University of Hawai’i (ASUH) coordinator and counselor Ka‘ahu Alo describes it as essentially a “food bank.”

Alo and the ASUH officers know most students have to balance school, work and sometimes family all at the same time. “We don’t want students giving up one thing or the other or not know when their next meal will be,” he said. “With the food pantry, the students can worry about one less thing.”

Participants in the Aloha Walk were asked to bring at least two canned goods for the food pantry. Rosemary Kaleleiki-Rollins, ASUH senator, teamed up with Makana Tani, another ASUH officer, to coordinate the event. They were able to raise a large amount of canned foods from the people who participated.

“I just wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle to the community while giving back to it as well,” Kaleleiki-Rollins said.

“I liked that this was student driven; it shows that the students actually care about their community,” Alo said.

Alo wants to see a walk held on campus at least once a semester, but that is still under discussion.

“We want to leave a positive legacy here on campus,” he said.

ASUH takes donations of canned foods at any time. Some donations will be taken down to TRiO, which is a outreach program here on campus that is designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Donations can be brought to the ASUH student life office located in Hale ‘Ākoakoa, where they will be taken straight to the food pantry downstairs, or an officer will lead you to the pantry itself. Alo’s office is also located in the same building in room 232, and he can be reached by email at kaahualo@hawaii.edu.

 

by Joshua Farias, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter