Wilcox makes largest food donation to drive

Employees of Wilcox Health (Wilcox Memorial Hospital and Kauai Medical Clinic) recently made the largest single contribution to the Kauai Food Bank’s spring food and fund drive, a Wilcox Health spokesperson said in a press release.

The 3,000 pounds of food they not only donated but helped load into the Kauai Food Bank truck increased the drive’s pound total by 26 percent, from 11,396 to 14,396.

There also were some cash donations from the employees.

The goal of the spring food and fund drive is $20,000 and 20,000 pounds of food, goals food bank leaders and volunteers hoped to surpass at Saturday’s one-day food and fund drive at various locations around the island (see a related story on the front page).

As of last Wednesday, the total poundage contributed by the community in the food bank’s annual spring food drive was 11,396 pounds.

On Thursday, employees at Wilcox Memorial Hospital and Kauai Medical Clinic increased the drive’s total poundage by 26 percent with their donations.

“This is the largest single spring food drive 2006 donation to date from any organization or business on Kaua‘i,” said Judith “Judy” Lenthall, Kauai Food Bank executive director.

“The goal of the spring drive is 20,000 pounds of food, and the food bank has achieved about 72 percent of that goal with just one more week left in the drive,” Lenthall added.

“Wilcox Health ran a superior food drive,” said Lenthall. “They’ve set the spring record so far this year, and it looks like they provided the healthiest foods as well.

“I guess it should be no surprise that our largest organization dedicated to health and wellness on Kaua‘i would promote proper nutrition and eating habits for the community,” she added.

In the spirit of healthy competition, members of Wilcox Health departments challenged each other, and with bags of food in hand, managers piled up their donations in the hospital conference room just before their monthly leadership meeting.

With over 500 pounds of food, three departments combined forces to win first prize for the most pounds of food donated.

The winning departments were security, facilities and maintenance, and environmental services.

Lenthall and staff member James brought the large Kauai Food Bank truck to haul away the food, and personally thanked the staff at Wilcox Health, saying “mahalo 3,000 times.” The Kauai Food Bank distributes about 70,000 pounds of food each month to respond to the approximately 6,000 requests for emergency food services.

Half of those served are children, and about 25 percent are elderly.

The food bank collects food from the community, local grocers and farms, and from off-island sources to serve about 70 charitable agencies that in turn feed their needy clients.

The Kauai Food Bank is governed by an unpaid board of directors.

Lenthall has been executive director of the organization since 1995. The Kauai Food Bank is a member of the Kauai United Way.

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