Kauai Food Bank wins $25,000 Weinberg Award

The first Kids Cafe in the state led to a big, timely, second- time award for leaders of Kauai Food Bank.

Judith “Judy” Lenthall, Kauai Food Bank executive director, was notified tive Friday that the food bank will receive $25,000 as the statewide winner of the Achievement In Management (AIM) Award from the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

It comes at a time when food bank leaders are staring at a year-end deficit even with the grant, Lenthall said.

“I was amazed. I was surprised,” said Lenthall.

“I’m just totally stoked.” This is the second time Kauai Food Bank leaders won the statewide AIM for Excellence award. In 1999 and 2003, the Kauai Fresh produce program for the island’s low-income senior citizens was recognized as an innovative program, allowing Kauai Food Bank leaders to win the award (in 2003 it was for expanding it to the Big Island).

This year, the partnership between leaders of the Kauai Food Bank, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hawaii and Kauai Children’s Discovery Museum, which led to the establishment of the state’s first Kids Cafe program to feed low-income children, is the project that won the statewide award.

Kauai Food Bank officials appealed and changed national food-bank regulations tional to permit the funding and formation of the first Kids Cafe in the state, operating now out of the Waimea clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hawaii.

Kauai Food Bank employees continue to deliver healthy and fresh food to the clubhouse, Boys & Girls Clubs leaders provide the venue, including a certified kitchen, and Kauai Children’s Discovery Museum officials provide facility, nutrition and enrichment activities, including gardening, menu-planning, solar-oven use, and nutrition training (nutrition, health and hygiene).

The partnership has resulted in: . Increased awareness and choices of nutrition and health practices by students and members of families served by the Waimea Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii; . Creation of a nutrition curriculum to be used in the future for other Boys & Girls Clubs; . Increased interaction between Eastside and Westside children and adults through involvement in the garden project; . Increased awareness by members of the overall Kaua’i community of the efforts of leaders of the food bank, Boys & Girls Clubs, Kauai Children’s Discovery Museum, and of healthy eating practices, Lenthall explained.

Grants from ConAgra Foods and America’s Second Harvest allowed for the establishment of the Waimea Kids Cafe at the start of the 2004-05 school year.

The program operates all 37 weeks of the school year, and has a six-week, summer-feeding component.

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