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Bento food

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is providing free meals for 100 students a day for the remainder of the semester through a partnership with Vibrant Hawaiʻi and a CARES Act grant from the County of Hawaiʻi. CARES is a federal program—the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act—established in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Farrah-Marie Gomes sent out an announcement to students that meals would be available each day. On September 30 and October 1, bentos will be provided from Hilo eateries, Asami’s Kitchen and Cafe Pesto. Pick-up will be between the hours of 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Student Services Center, room W-201. Students must bring a validated student ID, wear a mask and maintain six-foot distancing from others during the pick-up.

“We will have meal bags available starting next week and prepared meals will continue,” Gomes said. “An email with updated information will be sent out once details are finalized with our partner.”

If the student has class scheduled during pick-up time, they are asked to email Vice Chancellor Gomes and a meal will be held for pick-up. For food safety reasons, the meal will need to be picked up no later than 1:15 p.m.

—By Susan Enright

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