Food bank bash

LIHUE — Kelvin Moniz, executive director for the Kauai Independent Food Bank, invites people to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the food bank.

“We have come a long way since the Kauai Independent Food Bank started,” Moniz said. “We want to share our accomplishments and achievements with the people who helped us get to where we are today. We also want to share what lies ahead.”

The party is 5:30 to 9:30 tonight at the Kauai Veterans Center. Admission is $20 for dinner, entertainment, and prizes.

“This is not to be an expensive fundraiser,” Moniz said. “We want people to come and celebrate. We’re keeping the admission affordable and holding the bash in a comfortable place so people can have fun.”

KIFB sprouted from the debris of Hurricane Iniki which blew over the Garden Island on Sept. 11, 1992. Hurricane Iniki left thousands homeless and unemployed.

This was the setting for community heroes who formed the roots of what would be formally declared the Kauai Independent Food Bank in 1994.

Volunteers distributed more than five million pounds of food to hurricane victims, with that figure growing to serving 10,000 people each month, or 20 percent of Kauai’s population when it was incorporated as a nonprofit in 1994.

Today, the KIFB employs three full-time staff, including Moniz, and has a strong support corps of specially trained and screened volunteers at the Nawiliwili facility. The organization solicits and distributes more than 200,000 pounds of food each year to provide more than 435,000 meals to people.

Moniz said since the economic downturn in 2008, KIFB has seen an increase in demand for its services with about 8,500 requests for emergency food services each month. About 50 percent of the people it serves are children and nearly 20 percent are elderly.

Tickets are available at KIFB office, 3285 Waapa Road in Nawiliwili, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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