Maui Food Bank News

February, 2015

Merriman’s “Blue Hawaii” Event Provides Funds for Aloha BackPack Buddies

Peter Merriman has been a culinary pioneer in Hawaii for over 25 years. His restaurants showcase island grown and harvested foods through simple “farm-to-table” preparations that reflect the flavors of Hawaii’s multicultural heritage.

In 1988, Peter opened his signature upcountry restaurant, “Merriman’s,” in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Two more fine dining restaurants were added to the Merriman’s Hawaii group in 2008 and 2009 – “Merriman’s Kapalua,” on the grounds of the scenic resort on Maui’s West Side, and “Merriman’s Fish House” in Poipu, Kauai.

This past September, the Maui Food Bank’s “Aloha BackPack Buddies” program was the recipient of Peter Merriman’s exceptional generosity when Merriman’s Kapalua hosted an exclusive “Blue Hawaii” fundraising event for the Food Bank. Peter personally provided the food, staff, and the beautiful location that combined to make this event a rousing success.

Blue Hawaii participants enjoyed appetizers, dinner, drinks, and a stunning sunset that washed over the lanai at Merriman’s Kapalua. Then the entertainment began, as Darren Lee, one of the world’s most acclaimed Elvis impersonators, delivered a stirring performance of his live show, “Burn’n Love.” Meanwhile, guests also participated in a silent auction featuring a host of fabulous items and experiences.

The Blue Hawaii benefit event was also supported by Ocean Vodka, a family-run start-up company that is making waves in the world of fine handcrafted vodkas. Ocean Vodka president Shay Smith is building a successful company founded on the Spirit of Aloha, and his heart for hungry kids was made evident by his generous participation in this event.

The beneficiary of this fundraiser was the Maui Food Bank’s “Aloha BackPack Buddies” program, a program that provides backpacks filled with six nutritious meals for elementary-aged children who are at risk of going hungry over the weekend, when no school-based meal programs are available to them.

The Merriman’s “Blue Hawaii” event raised enough money to provide 11,000 backpacks filled with food for children in need living in Maui County!
Peter Merriman’s personal philosophy is summed up in his observation, “At Merriman’s, we believe in sharing our success and giving back to our local communities. Hawaii has been good to us, and we want to be good to Hawaii.”

Peter’s wife Vicki is also very involved in the community, and serves on the Board of the Maui Food Bank.
Peter and Vicki Merriman’s generosity in organizing this event exceeded all our expectations at the Food Bank, and we’re grateful for their tangible expression of care and kindness. Mahalo to Merriman’s Kapalua!