Spam is not forgetting its long-standing relationship with Hawaii in the state’s time of need as the brand’s parent company, Hormel Foods Corp., sends aid in the aftermath of the devastating fires on Maui.
The Spam brand has been linked to Hawaii since World War II, when it was the main food for American soldiers stationed there. “Why are Spam products so popular in Hawaii?” is even a question on the FAQ section of the brand’s website. It explains that after the products were transported over for the troops, it became embedded in the local culture. Fried Spam Classic and rice was a popular meal at the time, but the product spread into numerous other recipes throughout the years.
In response to the fires on Maui, which have left the area decimated and more than 100 confirmed dead, Hormel Foods donated three truckloads of Spam products, the company announced on Thursday. An additional two trucks will follow, totaling 264,000 cans donated to those affected.
A nonprofit that aids those impacted by natural disasters, Convoy of Hope, is partnering with Hormel to discern who is most in need of the food. The effort has support from other Spam initiatives as well, such as the raising of funds for local food banks, which will be matched by Hormel, as well as cash and product donations totaling $1 million and a “Spam Brand Loves Maui” T-shirt sale for additional fundraising.
“Convoy of Hope is incredibly grateful for this very generous donation from Hormel Foods and the Spam brand,” said Stacy Lamb, vice president, disaster services at Convoy of Hope in a press release. “We know how popular Spam products are, especially in Hawaii. This donation allows Convoy of Hope to deliver comfort to people whose lives have been turned upside down. The fact that Spam doesn’t need refrigeration makes it a perfect item for Convoy to deliver to survivors. Convoy of Hope is thankful that we can always count on the generosity of Hormel Foods, especially during difficult times.”
The humanitarian logistics group American Logistics Aid Network began mobilizing resources last week to support efforts to respond to the fires.
A press release from the County of Maui on Thursday night said the death toll remains at 111, and that 58% of the area has been searched. County fire investigators reported that the fires of areas Kula and Olinda have two distinct origins and will be reported on as separate fires as more data comes in.
The county also announced the resignation of Maui Emergency Management Agency Administrator Herman Andaya, who was recently criticized for the lack of siren use during the emergency, which some believe could have saved lives by warning citizens to flee. The agency cited health reasons for Andaya’s departure and said it will have a replacement shortly.
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