Post office, airport help stock shelves

NAWILIWILI n The Kaua‘i Food Bank’s spring food and fund drive may be over, but food is still coming in.

Roger Matias of Lihu‘e Airport Crash and Fire arrived Tuesday with one pickup filled with food, and also presented an envelope containing monetary contributions to Kelvin Moniz, operations manager for the Kaua‘i Food Bank.

“We wrapped up our spring drive a few weeks ago,” said Judy Lenthall, executive director for the Kaua‘i Food Bank. “But, you remember how empty the shelves were after the flood recovery efforts? This will definitely help.”

As Tony Koerte, Kaua‘i Food Bank’s Warehouse Manager unloaded the pickup, a Lihu‘e postal carrier also announced that he had food to drop off. That sent Moniz scurrying to fetch a grocery cart to load the mailman’s contributions being brought in by Henry Delgado.

Moniz said the National Postal Carriers Association conducts their own collection drive on a national level, and the Kaua‘i Food Bank’s involvement is to gather what was collected from the various post offices.

“This is a third party promotion so all we at the Kaua‘i Food Bank do is pickup and tally the contributions,” Moniz said.

“So far, we don’t have a total for the entire island because we still need to pick up food from the outlying post offices. The total should be available once all the collections are done,” Moniz said. “But, just between the Lihu‘e and Kapa‘a post offices, we have over 3,500 pounds of food, not counting what was dropped off (just) now.”

Moniz confirmed that amount with Koerte, who added the grocery cart of food to the pallet of food brought in by Matias.

The Lihu‘e Airport collection was coordinated by Gary Smith of the crash and fire unit with all vendors and departments of the airport contributing food and funds for about a month, Matias explained.

He added that some of the departments conduct their own food drives which means the total amount he brought down Tuesday doesn’t reflect all the effort extended by the airport.

For their efforts, Matias’ load weighed in at 814 pounds.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) and dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com

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