Wonderland-Themed Maui Food Bank Benefit

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Is it possible for this Maui food writer to “feed all of Maui”
with red velvet cake and canned tuna?

MAUI FOOD WRITER GOES DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE WITH A WONDERLAND-THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY AT THE NEW WHOLE FOODS IN KAHULUI

KIHEI, MAUI, Hawaii – When Molly Jacobson was young, she read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass every year on her birthday, March 4. Film Director Tim Burton has – perhaps unknowingly – given her a great gift by releasing the much-anticipated Alice in Wonderland (release: March 5, 2010) on her birthday weekend.

“It’s so perfect,” said Jacobson, who writes the popular guide to Maui restaurants Top Maui Restaurants 2010 from Thrifty to Four Star with her husband James. “But even better than watching the movie with my friends would be to make a big donation to Maui Food Bank.”

The writer and blogger is hosting her birthday party at Whole Foods in Kahului on March 6, 2010, from 3-4:30pm. The party has an Alice in Wonderland theme – including red velvet cake and hot tea – and Jacobson is using the occasion to collect food and donations for the Maui Food Bank.

“I know it sounds a little cuckoo,” Jacobson said, “but I’d like to raise at least $5,000 in cash and canned goods for the Maui Food Bank. It might sound impossible, but as they say in Wonderland, I like to believe at least six impossible things before breakfast.”

She’s got a head start. Many local chefs and restaurant owners, including Chef James McDonald of I’o, Chef Brian Etheredge of Capische? and Dana Pastula of Café O’Lei, are donating to the cause on March 6th.

“I obsess about and write about food every day of the year; it’s my job.” said Jacobson. “I am lucky to have plenty of food. But there are many on Maui who obsess about food every day of the year for the opposite reason – because they don’t have enough. This is unacceptable.”

Richard Yust, Executive Director of the Maui Food Bank, reports, “There has been a 20% increase in the need for our services.  Many people including children, seniors, the working poor and the homeless, have been forced to skip meals or eat less well.  Giving up food in order to pay rent, cover medical expenses, and put gas in the car is what literally thousands of people in our island ohana are doing every day.”

When the Jacobsons found out that Maui Food Bank serves 10,000 people on Maui each month – roughly 7% of the population – they decided to make it their personal mission to help out. The Jacobsons will donate a portion of the sales of every copy of Top Maui Restaurants 2010 to the Maui Food Bank. And this year, instead of birthday gifts, Molly Jacobson is asking her friends and neighbors to give to the food bank.

When the husband-and-wife foodie team first heard that Whole Foods Market was opening in Kahului, James joked that Molly should have her birthday party there. When the opening day was announced for late February, they decided to make it official.

“We contacted Whole Foods and asked if they would let us host a Food Drive for Molly’s birthday,” James Jacobson said. “We hope that everyone who comes in – whether they are coming for Molly’s birthday celebration or not – will buy food for the Maui Food Bank or make a direct donation.”

The grocery store immediately responded with an offer to make the cake and refreshments. Molly Jacobson mentioned going to the movies after her party to see Alice in Wonderland, and that led to a “cake and tea party.” Whole Foods bakery will provide refreshments for the party, including a Tim-Burtonesque red velvet cake and hot tea.

“If you’re on Maui on March 6,” Jacobson asks, “please join come down to the new Whole Foods and have a slice of cake and make a donation to the Maui Food Bank.” The most needed items are: financial contributions, canned meat and tuna, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals and soups with protein, cereal, rice, and pasta.

“Any contribution helps, and I’ll feed you cake,” said Jacobson. “If you want to be playful, come dressed as your favorite Alice in Wonderland character and go to the movies with us after the party.”

Impossible Wonderland Mad Hatter Party to Benefit the Maui Food Bank
Hosted by Molly and James Jacobson, authors of
Top Maui Restaurants 2010 from Thrifty to Four Star

Saturday, March 6, 3-4:30pm
Whole Foods Market
70 East Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului
(808) 872-3310
Cake and Tea served courtesy of Whole Foods Market

The authors, James and Molly Jacobson are members of the James Beard Foundation as well as Chaine Des Rotisseurs and are respected food writers who live, play, and eat on Maui. Tens of thousands of Maui visitors and locals trust the Jacobson’s book when choosing where to dine on Maui. For more information visit www.TopMauiRestaurants.com or their blog www.MauiRestaurantsBlog.com

Whole Foods Market is opening its first Maui location on February 24, 2010. Whole Foods seeks out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintains the strictest quality standards in the industry, and has an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture.

The Maui Food Bank currently serves 10,000 people a month who are at risk of going hungry. Working with over 100 partner agencies and programs, the food bank is committed to fulfilling their mission by helping the hungry in Maui County. Each dollar donated to the Maui Food Bank turns into $8 worth of groceries, such as rice, fresh produce, canned foods, bread, meat, fish and poultry. This year the Maui Food Bank will distribute over 1.5 million pounds of food to the hungry.

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