Credit unions help replenish food bank shelves

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Mary Jane Omi is joined by Jasmine Semana at Garden Island Federal Credit Union as she shows off one of the remaining tambo tambo containers Friday. The special Friday sales benefiting the credit unions’ food drive continue July 13 and July 20.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Gather Federal Credit Union’s Tehani Bernhardt, Terri Kaniho and Joy Hiraoka help Mel Chiba with his Friday special selections at the Gather Kukui Grove West branch. Proceeds from the Friday specials benefit the ongoing food drive.

There were just two containers of the Mary Jane Omi-created tambo tambo at the Garden Island Federal Credit Union, and over at the Gather Federal Credit Union, the Goteborg bowls were already sold out Friday morning.

“You need to come in early when the doors open at 9 a.m.,” said Terri Kaniho of the Gather FCU. “Food usually sells quickly. This is part of the credit unions’ food drive that has a goal of $20,000 to help replenish the food supply at the Kauai Independent Food Bank.”

Stephanie Shinno of the GIFCU said their credit union’s goal for the food drive is $4,000 and the special Friday sales that includes the popular tambo tambo dish will be held next Friday as well as on July 20.

“We want to thank all of our customers and associates for their help in supporting the food bank,” Shinno said. “The food banks have been involved in getting supplies out to the areas affected by the recent heavy rainfall. Now, they need to replenish their supplies to get ready for the keiki and kupuna programs.”

Some of these keiki programs include the Keiki Cafe that provides healthy, nutritious snacks to students after school, and the Backpack program where food is sent home with students to help tide them and, in many cases, their siblings, over the weekend when school is not in session.

The food drive started on July 2 and will continue through July 22 with a goal of $20,000 to help the Kauai Independent Food Drive.

All of the seven credit unions — the Kekaha Federal Credit Union, the McBryde Federal Credit Union, the Kauai Teachers Federal Credit Union, the Kauai Government Employees Federal Credit Union, the Garden Island Federal Credit Union, and the Gather Federal Credit Union — on Kauai are participating in the food drive.

“These Friday special events help the individual credit unions towards the overall goal,” Kaniho said.

The credit unions are involved in the Fourth annual Back to School Bash on July 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kukui Grove Center. The credit unions will be represented with volunteers to help pack the thousands of packages of school supplies.

The Back to School Bash school supplies giveaway feature a day filled with live entertainment, keiki and youth resources for school, a health fair, activity zones, and prize giveaways enhanced by Back to School specials from Kukui Grove Center tenants.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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