Credit unions donate nearly $33K, food to KIFB

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    On the eve of the Kauai Independent Food Bank’s annual Healthy Holiday Food and Fund Drive, Kelvin Moniz, the executive director of KIFB, accepts a contribution of $32,800 from representatives of all of Kauai’s credit unions, Tuesday morning at the KIFB facility in Nawiliwili. Shown are Keith Uyeno (Garden Island FCU), Jacie Emoto (McBryde FCU), Leann Ishii (Aloha FCU), Jane Russell (Kauai Teachers FCU), Sharlene Garcia (Garden Island FCU), Leona Perez (KIFB programs manager), Stephannie Shinno (Garden Island FCU), Shane Corregedore (Garden Island FCU), Monica Belz ((Kauai Government Employees FCU), Teri Kaniho (Gather FCU), Conrad Rualizo (Kauai Teachers FCU), Rizalde Tolentino (KIFB warehouse supv), Lloyd Kajikawa (KIFB board), Tess Shimabukuro (Gather FCU), and Kelvin Moniz.

NAWILIWILI — Kelvin Moniz, executive director of the Kauai Independent Food Bank, was anxious about meeting credit union representatives Tuesday morning.

“The timing of this gift was very timely,” Moniz said. “This will help us replenish and recover from the recent series of disasters we responded to. This puts back into our kupuna shopping program, the healthy keiki after-school snack program, Keiki Cafe, and even to the Backpack program where food is sent home with students for the weekend to help carry them through until the next school day.”

Representatives of credit unions on Kauai, including the Garden Island Federal Credit Union, Gather Federal Credit Union, the Kauai Government Federal Credit Union, the Kauai Teachers Federal Credit Union, the Kekaha Federal Credit Union, and the McBryde Federal Credit Union, collected more than a thousand pounds of food, and $32,800 in cash to present to the Kauai Independent Food Bank during its recent food drives.

“The credit unions are Kauai people,” said Monica Belz, president of the Kauai Government Federal Credit Union. “The credit union staff are Kauai people, the members are Kauai people. This is Kauai coming together to help others who are not so fortunate.”

Tess Shimabukuro, president of the Gather Federal Credit Union, said the amount they turned over exceeded the original goal of $20,000.

Moniz said in addition to providing relief from its disaster recovery, the gift comes on the eve of the KIFB Healthy Holiday Food and Fund Drive that launches Oct. 1 and continues through Dec. 31.

As part of the holiday drive, KIFB will host a collection day Saturday at both the Kukui Grove Center and at Walmart.

“We have a lot of bodies helping for this drive,” Moniz said. “The Leo clubs, the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism, and some of the other students will be out in force at various locations at the Kukui Grove from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The East Kauai Lions Club will be taking care of the Walmart site.”

Moniz said in addition to the collection day, people can contribute through Dec. 31 at any of fire stations, or at the KIFB facility in Nawiliwili.

Items needed for keiki and kupuna include rice and grains in bags or heat/serve containers, pasta and pasta sauce, proteins and seed, or nut butters, low sodium soups and stews, low sodium vegetables and fruits in water, or 100 percent juice, hot and cold cereal, shelf-stable milk, and supplements for kupuna.

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

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