Salvation Army plans Westside soup kitchen

LIHU’E — Officers of The Salvation Army, armed with new Hanapepe Corps leaders, are ready to acquire permits to establish the Westside’s first soup kitchen to feed needy folks on that side of the island.

Lt. Larry Groenleer has already hit the ground running as new head of the Hanapepe Corps, and said one of the first things he’s done is start the permitting process for the Hanapepe Kokua Soup Kitchen, a program that has met with high levels of success in the Lihue Corps.

The certified kitchen is at the heart of the program, and work is being done by members of the United States Marine Corps League, who worked on getting the Lihue Corps’ kitchen certified.

“We have been getting calls from the community,” Groenleer said. “Now, it’s up to how fast the paperwork can get processed.”

Capt. Mitham Clement of the Lihue Corps noted that Lt. Joy Groenleer is a Kaua’i-born girl, so their assignment to Hanapepe is a homecoming for her.

People who make things happen were on the reverse side of things recently as The Salvation Army leaders hosted over 50 representatives from volunteer groups and agencies who help their programs succeed.

Maj. Dave Hudson, divisional commander of The Salvation Army in Hawai’i and the Pacific Islands, flew in for the occasion, and greeted members of each of the groups as they entered the Kaua’i War Memorial Convention Hall, where they were treated to a sumptuous buffet prepared under the supervision of Cecilia Perreira and her group of volunteers, who also manned the various buffet stations.

These included Jane Altieri, Tootsie Simao, John Silva, Ku’ulei Akau, Cheylene McGee, Kalei Alejandro, Barbara Tanaka, and Pat Witts.

Among those being greeted by Hudson were members of the Groenleer family, who recently took over the reins of the Hanapepe Corps.

Capt. Erica Yang, assistant corps officer at the Lihue Corps, noted that there were over 70 invitations sent out, but only about 60 responded to the invitation for lunch.

“Everything about The Salvation Army is a sacrifice,” said Jim Itamura, chairman of the advisory board, in his greeting. “From the professional officers who work full time but are paid mere subsistence, to the advisory-board members who take precious time out of their very busy schedules to take on humongous projects, to donors like you, our guests, who provide valuable goods, time, and services for no reason except that it’s the right thing to do.

“Sacrifices hurt,” Itamura added. “If it didn’t, it would not be a sacrifice, and it certainly would not be a worthy sacrifice. On behalf of the Kaua’i Salvation Army, I say ‘thank you,’ and (acknowledge) how greatly your sacrifices are appreciated.”

Clement noted that leaders and volunteers of The Salvation Army have helped in many ways throughout the year.

The Salvation Army officials and volunteers have been able to touch many lives through the generosity and support of members of the community, Clement noted.

These situations include helping provide individuals with the emergency help they need, including food, clothing, shelter, utilities payments, and other seen and unforeseen needs.

The force behind what officials of The Salvation Army accomplish is the volunteerism and community contributions, and for this, the luncheon was just a small way of acknowledging each person’s contribution, said Clement.

“On behalf of The Salvation Army, and those we served, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to each one of you, our advisory-board members, donors, and volunteers, for being a gem for many in our community. May God richly bless you,” Clement said.

Officers of The Salvation Army Advisory Board include Chairman Itamura; Ellie Lloyd, vice chair; and Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano, secretary.

Board members include Faye Akasaki, Jan Bernard, Hartwell Blake, Nancy Budd, County Councilman Jay Furfaro, Dore Jean, Trinette Kaui, E. Evelyn Laureta, Stewart Munroe, Robert Rask, J Robertson, and John Simpson.

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