Mahalo nui loa for signing up to staff our Activate Hawaii Aid Hotline! We sincerely appreciate your help with getting our keiki, kupuna, friends, and neighbors the emergency food assistance they need to get through these difficult times.

Please read all of the information below to educate yourself on the what, why, and how of this hotline so you can take calls with confidence! Read on for tips on how to be an effective call taker and a list of resources to share with callers should requests beyond food assistance arise.


Why do we have a hotline?

Activate Hawai‘i Aid launched the Community Pulse Survey in March 2020 to find out who needs food assistance and who can kōkua during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The survey is available online, but not all households have access to the internet or a device, so a hotline was established.

Why are we doing this?

The arrival of the COVID-19 virus to Hawaiʻi has created a lot of uncertainty in our community about the future. It’s going to take all of us, working together in a coordinated way, to ensure our keiki, kūpuna, and our most vulnerable have what they need during this difficult time.

 kūpuna (seniors) and individuals with pre-existing health conditions are even more susceptible; we can help them stay home by getting them essential food and household supplies.

What will the survey info help with?

Knowing where vulnerable households are will help our partners deploy resources strategically and efficiently. It will also help to identify food gaps so we know where to direct more support.

How are we doing it?

In times of crisis, our human nature kicks in and we want to find ways to be useful and contribute. Due to the nature of the coronavirus, however, we are required to stay-at-home and isolate. Being a part of the virtual call center feeds our desire to help others, makes us an important part of the collective effort, and allows us to participate safely.

When is the hotline available?

The Activate Hawai‘i Aid food access hotline is open Monday and Tuesday from 8am to 12pm

What will I be helping with?

Volunteer agents will be helping callers complete the Community Pulse Survey, intaking RSVPs for our programs—like Keiki Care Packs and the #FeedThePeople – Puna Program—and helping callers with questions about other kinds of assistance [please refer to the resource listing below and help connect callers to what they might need.]


Toky is the web-based phone system that we use for agents to log in and take calls. You can access the system using any web browser on a desktop computer or you may also download the Toky app for iPhone or your Android or Google phone. In order to receive calls on a desktop computer, you’ll need both a microphone and speakers plugged in and turned on. Headphones with a built-in microphone (like Apple AirBuds or EarBuds) are ideal.

Desktop Computer: Login at
Download Smartphone App:
Login Username:
Password: $mAshc0vid

Once you log in, you’ll be “live” and able to receive calls through Toky on your browser or your smartphone. When you are finished with your shift, please remember to LOG OUT of Toky!


You will be helping callers complete the Community Pulse Survey and RSVPing for our various programs. Smiling when you answer the phone and throughout the conversation will help set a positive tone in your voice. Speak slowly and clearly, and listen closely. Some people may be lonely and just want to talk story. Be kind and compassionate—it’s a stressful time. Once you have helped the caller, remember to thank them for calling. Below are links to the different forms and programs.

Caller is looking for help with general food access or other resources.

Activate Hawaiʻi Aid is a concerted effort to bring community together and activate an islandwide network of resilience to help the most vulnerable get the support they need during this public health emergency.

Caller wants to RSVP for Keiki Care Packs.

The arrival of the COVID-19 virus to Hawaiʻi has created a lot of uncertainty in our community about the future. It’s going to take all of us, working together in a coordinated way, to ensure our keiki, kūpuna, and our most vulnerable have what they need during this difficult time. We will get through this together!

Caller wants to volunteer.

From food access and kūpuna care to supporting keiki and our collective mental health; a pool of resources exists and is ready to be tapped. We’re taking stock of needs so that assistance can be deployed in a thoughtful, coordinated, and strategic way.

Caller wants to RSVP for our #FeedThePeopleHI - Puna Program.

Our first focus is to provide food assistance and establish community feeding sites. We want to ensure our keiki are getting ongoing food assistance during the extended school closures, and potentially beyond. The goal is to distribute emergency food boxes, which contain a two-weekly supply of non-perishable goods and fresh produce.


  • If callers have questions about services unrelated to the survey or program RSVPs, please be prepared to help. Offer to give them the following information. Mahalo for being patient and showing compassion.
  • Hawaiʻi Food Basket—(808) 933-6030;
  • Civil Defense Hotline—(808) 935-0031;
  • Office of Aging | Aging & Disability Resource Center—(808) 643-2372;
  • Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC)—for energy, housing, and transportation inquiries; East Hawaiʻi (808) 961-2681 ext#400; West Hawaiʻi (808) 322-3428;
  • Unemployment Claims—Hilo (808) 974-4086; Kona (808) 322-4822;
  • Business Assistance | Emergency Loans—Small Business Development Center, Hilo (808) 933-0776; Kona (808) 333-5000;
  • Mortgage, Rent, or Loan Payments—Evictions are currently suspended statewide; however, we suggest that you contact your landlord or property manager directly to work out payment. Many banks and creditors are offering extension, forbearance, or deferment programs. Please contact your creditor(s) directly.
  • Utilities Payments—HELCO and the Department of Water Supply will not be suspending any services for non-payment during the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration; however, we suggest that you contact any utility company directly about questions regarding non-payment.
  • Questions About COVID-19 Testing or Health—Contact your primary care provider or the Hawaiʻi Department of Health at (808) 586-4400 or visit their website at

If the caller asks for any additional information it is at your discretion whether to provide that information as long as it is from a trusted source, currently the best resource we can suggest are state, county, and federal websites as well as


If you have any trouble with the Toky system, need further clarification on anything, or otherwise have any questions or feedback, please contact Cody Chapin—Legislative Assistant to Hawaii County Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz (District 4)—via email or you can also feel free to text during business hours at (808) 888-9799. Thank you again so much for your help from the bottom of our hearts!