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Posse formed to round up hunger

NAWILIWILI — A posse has been formed with the sole purpose of rounding up and ridding the island of a heinous foe.

Hunger.

“That dirty, rotten scoundrel made an appearance” at the 12th Annual Healthy Spring Food and Fund Drive & Mahalo Party at the Kaua’i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu’e recently, said Judith Faith “Judy” “Head Scout” Lenthall, executive director of the Kauai Food Bank.

“With guns a-blazin’ and with a bandana and gang,” she told Kauaians present they couldn’t catch her, Lenthall said.

“‘You can’t touch me. This town is mine. I’ll steal the growth from your keiki and the health from your kupuna, and there’s nothin’ you can do to stop me,'” Lenthall said of hunger’s challenge.

Hunger snatched the microphone out of master of ceremonies Dickie Chang’s hand, and escaped out a side door after she delivered her challenge, Lenthall said.

“Hunger thinks she’s running this town,” Chang said. “Kaua’i, are we going to take this sitting down?” he asked.

The answer was a resounding “no,” and those in attendance were deputized on the spot, and recited a solemn pledge to look high and low, and fight and capture hunger, Lenthall said.

The bounty is $20,000 and 20,000 pounds of food, the goals of the spring food and fund drive that officially kicks off today with the insertion into today’s editions of The Garden Island and Island Shopper of brown paper bags (for food donations) and white envelopes (for check donations).

Students and other volunteers at Island School and Kaua’i High School formed posses of their own to staple the envelopes to the bags. There are posse members (food-drive coordinators) from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility to the Ching Young Village Shopping Center in Hanalei, but more are needed to capture hunger island-wide, she said.

According to a recent survey, 20 percent of Kaua’i’s population is considered “food insecure,” meaning they don’t know where their next healthy meal will come from.

According to Mary Kawena Pukui in her book, “Nani I Ke Kumu,” or “Look to the Source,” “hunger was the Hawaiian concept of hell.”

In the 1700s, High Chief Ku’ali’i passed the Ko’owalu Law, stating that, “if anyone tells you ‘I am hungry,’ feed them.”

For more information, call 246-3809.

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