May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which celebrates the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: STEVE SOMBRERO
Malama Meals provides food security and comfort to our community in need amidst the growing concern for COVID-19. What inspired you to partner with Malama meals program*?
Honolulu Mayor Caldwell ordered all bars and restaurants to be shut down, including my brewery (Aloha Beer Co). We had supplies and ingredients in our kitchen that were going to go to waste so the partners in the project (restaurants and food truck owners) rallied to help people. Who needed it the most? Senior citizens who are all high risk, confined to their homes, cut off from the outside and could not even meet their own families. We organized ourselves, reached out to other restaurants and food wholesalers to see if we could repurpose and save the food. We received enthusiastic support from our Mayor and held a press conference to announce Malama Meals. We were off and running the very next day. We are now serving daily between 6 to 7K senior citizens in government project housing. The goal and expectation is to be serving 10K plates each day.
Can you tell us about the Aloha Spirit and how it applies to your personal and professional life?
The Aloha spirit is about being inclusive, being family, and caring for each other. This pandemic crisis is forcing us to spend more time with families and work from home. It’s as if we’ve all been put on pause to realize that if we continue to do what we’ve always been doing, we will very soon destroy our planet. Island people know that we have a finite amount of land and water—we take the time to take care of our environment and save what we have. Understand the concept of balance and take care of the “AINA” and “OHANA” for we truly are one family.
What advice would you give to aspiring professionals who’d like to make an impact and get involved in their community?
Do your best to be the best in whatever you do. Don’t chase money—Do good and money will come chasing you. We are living in an extraordinary period that will give rise to extraordinary people. Strive to be one and you will impact the world in more ways than one.