HFA President and CEO Chad Buck in the News

HFA’s Response to COVID-19


The safety of our team members, customers, consumers, and community is HFA’s top priority.

Throughout our island and California operations, HFA has taken swift action to protect the safety of all our constituents.  We remain committed to providing the people of Hawaii with safe, high-quality food products during this difficult time.

We will continue to closely monitor the worldwide situation regarding the novel coronavirus (I.e. SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) and quickly respond as conditions change.

HFA’s dedicated Health Team has deployed detailed pandemic protocols, which have defined clear procedures to protect the health and safety of our team members, customers and consumers.

Our HFA COVID-19 Coordinator is Filsann Mariteragi. She may be reached at HFAHealth@hfahawaii.com or 808-599-9875 if you have questions or concerns related to COVID-19.

Here are some of the ways we are protecting our Hawaii and California ohana during this time:

  • Continuously educating our team members on the pertinent information from CDC and local public health officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Trained our team members on the symptoms of COVID-19, how to protect themselves, and how to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Implemented and trained on additional health and safety policies, including social distancing, face coverings, face shields, hand hygiene, and fomite (i.e, surface) disinfection practices in the workplace.
  • Trained using a variety of methods, including: Daily safety briefings, Zoom trainings, e-mail communications, and department meetings.

Team Member Safety

  • Provided face coverings, face shields, gloves, sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes to all team members
  • Provided “stay-back-six-feet” warning T-shirts and signs for all field team members to encourage physical distancing by the public while team members are in customer locations performing merchandising and stocking functions
  • Required all field team members at customer and vendor sites, and staff who are unable to physically distance from others, to wear approved eye protection as well as face coverings
  • Clearly and transparently communicated how we are handling illnesses
  • Encouraged open and transparent communication and provided resources for COVID-19 and health policy questions
  • Encouraged team members to reach out to our Employee Assistance Program for free, professional counseling

Team Member Health

  • Proactively screening all employees daily with a health survey and temperature check and requiring team members with signs of illness to stay home
  • Provided free COVID-19 testing, as needed
  • Implemented flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices
  • Implementing flexible work times (cohorting) to spread out employee work time density
  • Individually tracking all illnesses by our Health team with referral to medical professionals
  • Affirmatively assisting Department of Health tracking and tracing programs
  • Implemented cohorting procedures to separate team members into smaller work groups and limit physical interaction and exposure between groups
  • Staggered shifts and breaks for socially distanced passings
  • Cancelled, postponed, or held business meetings virtually
  • Remote work provided, where possible
  • Halted all company-wide travel and encouraged team members to limit personal travel, when possible, and self-quarantine as recommended by the CDC and local state health department.
  • Encouraged team members to moderate their off-work number of social contacts and to avoid group contacts

Facilities – Cleaning, Health Measures

  • Workplace cleanliness and health: The HFA team continues to make health and safety their top priority as we follow CDC guidelines to maintain a healthy environment.
  • Increased the frequency, scope, and intensity of environmental cleaning and disinfection of all facilities
  • Providing more ventilation, purification and air flow, where possible
  • Ensuring disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers are available throughout the facility
  • Provided outdoor, socially distanced, shaded areas for meals and breaks (all internal meal and break rooms have been closed, except for prep)

Facilities – Visitors

  • All visitors must receive clearance prior to entry into the HFA facility
  • All HFA customers must request information via phone and email to minimize person-to-person contact 
  • Implemented a no-contact policy for Will Call customers
  • Product safety: As always, HFA continues to follow regulations according to FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) to safeguard our products.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Per fda.gov: “We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.”
  • Contacted vendors and suppliers about their response plans to ensure a stable supply chain
  • Product availability: We are working closely with our suppliers during this time of unusual consumer demand and interrupted supply chains. If products are unavailable, we seek to provide alternate products for our customers.
  • Focused management strategic planning as an essential provider of food for our community on ensuring business continuity and resiliency.
  • HFA and the Salvation Army partnered to be the first to donate and provide a community-wide food distribution for COVID-impacted families, offering approximately 2,200 gallons of fresh milk, 4,300 dozen eggs, 3,000 loaves of bread and 5,000 pounds of fresh Maui harvest potatoes
  • HFA and our teams have been the lead distributor for the City & County of Honolulu, Hawaii Foodbank food distribution, distributing 50,000 loaves of bread, 75,000 gallons of milk, $240,000 of local beef and 50,000 dozen eggs
  • Partnered with Hawaii Foodbank and Waianae Coast Comprehensive to provide bread, milk and eggs for summer ohana drops for families impacted by COVID-19
  • Lead milk distributor for the USDA Farmers to Families program that provided 175,000 gallons of milk to local families on all islands through our non-profit partners
  • Distribution of face coverings to Neighbor Islands for Hospitals and first responders

A Final Note 

We thank you for your partnership in feeding Hawaii.  We will continue to work hard to make your health and safety our top priority.

COVID-19 presents a dynamic and constantly changing set of circumstances and medical symptoms.  As such, recommended responses are changing and evolving, resulting in frequent modifications to conclusions and recommendations by CDC, public health officials and therefore companies.  For additional information, please reach out to HFAHealth@hfahawaii.com.