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Christmas wish granted: $80K donation for 2 forklifts headed to The Food Basket

The Food Basket got a special pre-Christmas phone call Monday morning. When the phone first rang, Kristin Frost Albrecht, The Food Basket’s interim executive director, was already on the phone but an employee gave her a note that said a man looking to donate was trying to reach her.

“I was just shaking when I was opening it,” she said. “It was just amazing.”

Before heading into another conference call, Albrecht gave the man a ring.

“He said, ‘hey, I see you guys were looking for a forklift, well, tell me about the forklift,” said Albrecht, who went on to explain to the man about the nonprofit’s two aging forklifts and mounting mechanical issues and bills that “are just eating us alive.” “And he asked me, ‘is that true that they cost $40,000 and you need two?’ And, I said yes, we need this stand-up kind of forklift because our warehouses are really small.

“And, he said, ‘Well, there’s gonna be a check coming in the mail for $80,000,’” Albrecht recalled. “I was like whoa! I almost lost it it was just like so amazing.”

The call from the on-island donor came within about 48 hours of West Hawaii Today’s Friday articles bringing light to the organization’s needs this holiday season, including the need for two forklifts estimated to cost $40,000 each. Albrecht said numerous volunteers also responded to the request for assistance in both Hilo and Kona.

Albrecht said she has verified the man and his foundation. She is keeping his name anonymous at this time until she receives information to release his name and foundation.

“It’s like wow, that is Christmas in a nutshell,” Albrecht said Monday afternoon. “It feels kind of unbelievable.”

Over the course of a year, The Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s lone food bank, serves 13,649 unduplicated individuals per month.

For more information or to volunteer or contribute monetarily, visit or call 933-6030.