KIFB launches holiday food drive

LIHUE — Leona Perez, the programs manager for the Kauai Independent Food Bank, had little time to chat, Tuesday as she and Ammon Kakazu finalized an emergency food package for waiting customers.

The emergency food program is just one of the facets of the Kauai Independent Food Bank that benefits from the Holiday Food and Fund Drive which launched over the weekend with the KIFB Food Collection Day at sites in Lihue and Kapaa.

“We did not bad,” Perez said. “With the help of volunteers from the Leo Club of Kauai High School, the Kauai Lions Club, the East Kauai Lions Club, and other volunteers we finished the day with $2,500 collected from the different sites.”

Barbara Gusman of the EK Lions Club was manning a fishnet at Kmart, noting that collection was being benefited by the amount of cruise ship passengers being dropped off by the store’s shuttle.

“People are very generous,” Gusman said. “They see food bank, and almost everyone helps.”

Over at the Emerging Artists’ Fair at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center, Susan Campbell manned a food collection benefiting KIFB.

“We believe in what the Kauai Independent Food Bank does,” Campbell said. “We support their efforts at feeding the hungry.”

Perez and Rizalde Tolentino got help from Ansen Davis in picking up the final collection from the Skyline Eco Adventures, Tuesday morning at The Shops at Kukuiula.

“This is the last load for Skyline’s promotion in September where residents bringing in 10 cans of nonperishables were eligible for a free ride,” Perez said. “People also had the option of a five, or eight-line, this year.”

This year’s total collection amounted to 7,651 pounds for the month of September, an increase from the 5,906 pounds collected last year.

Additionally, the Kauai Independent Food Bank is the beneficiary of the Table 53 program hosted by the Sheraton Kauai Resort at its RumFire restaurant. KIFB will receive proceeds from food and beverage sales at Table 53 for the months of September and October under the resort’s You Dine, We Donate program.

The KIFB Holiday Healthy Food and Fund Drive has a goal of 45,000 pounds of food collected, and $45,000 in cash contributions.

Donations can be dropped off at any of the island’s fire stations, or at the Kauai Independent Food Bank facility in Nawiliwili through Dec. 30.

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