County food drive nets more than 8,500 pounds

LIHUE — Results of the county employees’ food drive filled the tunnel entrance to the Moikeha Building Thursday as departments brought forth their collections.

The final tally totaled 8,564 pounds of food being presented to the Kauai Independent Food Bank toward its Spring Healthy Food and Fund drive which ends Sunday.

Cyndi Ayonon of the Mayor’s Office said the total represents an increase from its 2016 contribution, which came in at 7,555 pounds. The 2015 collection tipped the scales at 8,515 pounds.

Rowena Cobb said funds and food received from our supporters provide children nutritious snacks every school day from Kekaha to Hanalei through the after-school programs.

“KIFB is so pleased that we are, in addition to helping keiki, able to assist many kupuna with food items that are more often on the wish list rather than on the table, including things like eggs and fresh milk,” Cobb said. “Seeing the kupuna stop by following a full day at their planned activity to fill their shopping bags plants a smile bigger than ever on their faces as well as the observers.”

A contest between county departments served as an incentive to food collection.

“At least the Mayor’s Office was in the top five,” Ayonon said.

The Mayor’s Office finished in third with 1,105 pounds, including food and monetary contributions. Top finisher was the Planning Department, which repeated its first-place finish from last year.

The Planning Department finished with 1,532 pounds of food, an increase from its 1,250-pound contribution in 2016.

Second place went to the Kauai Fire Department, which finished with 1,124 pounds of food, just 19 pounds more than the Mayor’s Office, but a sizeable increase from its 958 pounds in 2016.

Fourth place was awarded to the Kauai County Council with 819 pounds and Public Works slipped from its second-place finish in 2016 to fifth place with 710 pounds of food.

The Kauai Independent Food Bank distributed more than 200,000 pounds of food to more than 30 nonprofit agencies in 2016.

According to figures, the food bank services more than 4,300 backpacks of food annually through its Backpack Program, about 141,000 snacks through the Keiki Cafe Program and services about 159 kupuna each month. It also takes care of more than 11,000 food requests through the Uluwehi Emergency Food Distribution program.

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