Amber Kalish
Amber Kalish

In normal times, most of the food prepared by University of Hawaiʻi Maui College Culinary Arts students is sold in the cafeteria, in The Leis Family Class Act Restaurant or at events the college caters. These times, however, are anything but normal, leading the culinary students to use their kitchens to help feed their community instead.

students baking bread
Zacarias Chichioco and Charlene Ramos (back)

Intermediate baking student Amber Kalish helped the culinary program partner with a Maui non-profit Hungry Homeless Heroes Hawaiʻi, which was founded by her friend Brad Kukral. The culinary students used their skills to bake loaves of bread for Kukral to distribute, recently donating six bags of rye, all kinds of sourdough loaves, baguettes and more.

“We’re so humbled and grateful to be able to partner with Hungry Homeless Heroes,” said UH Maui College Culinary Arts Program Coordinator Pastry Chef Teresa Shurilla. “Bread baked with love and passion by our students going to our neighbors who need it most. We hope we can continue the relationship with the organization as long as they need us.”

About Hungry Homeless Heroes Hawaiʻi

The non-profit began during the pandemic lockdown when Kukral and his friend Steve Calkins started to cook some meals and pass them out to the homeless in their hometown, Lahaina. They are currently working out of Blue Moon Café in Kīhei alongside more than 70 volunteers, distributing 300 to 350 meals a day in Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Lahaina and Pāʻia.

“We work with many local farms, too,” explained Kukral. “They donate hundreds of pounds of produce and some of the folks we feed work on the farms.”

The organization accepts donations of cooked food prepared in certified kitchens, fresh produce and non-perishable food items. For more information and how to help, go to Hungry Homeless Heroes Hawaiʻi’s Facebook page.

student bakers with bread
From left, Amber Kalish, Sage Gomes, Pomai Kina, Kui Hanks and Amberlin Lee