A ton of rice helps feed Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — As a forklift loaded a pallet of rice onto the food bank truck at Kmart, Mike Dandurand said, “No one on Kaua‘i should go hungry.”

Dandurand, of Kustom Sounds, was on hand yesterday along with Jarett Chytka, store manager for Kmart, and Anthony Koerte, programs manager for Kaua‘i Food Bank, and Kelvin Moniz, who handles the development programs for the food bank.

“That’s a lot of rice,” Chytka said. “It should feed a lot of people.”

Dandurand said he got the idea for the unique partnership while on O‘ahu, and thought about it before approaching Chytka.

The partnership involves Dandurand footing half the bill for the ton of rice with the Big Kmart paying the other half.

Dandurand wants to partner with other community sponsors, ensuring the program throughout the year.

He added that because of the consideration afforded by Kmart, the food will come from their inventory.

“Jarett was very responsive to this idea,” Dandurand said. “But he’s always been very community-minded.”

Meanwhile, as the pallet of 120 bags of rice was loaded for the first month’s program, Moniz said there could be adjustments made in each month’s food contribution.

“It doesn’t always have to be rice,” Moniz said. “Sometimes, we might not need that much rice, so we might switch to something like Spam, or even milk.”

“But it will always be a partnership between Kustom Sound and a community ally,” Dandurand said.

When agreement was made, Dandurand said his staff of six disc jockeys were excited as well and contributed part of their salary checks to help defray the initial costs.

Those participating included Ron Ferraro, Miles Wazinner, Logan Iwatate, Cameron Cox and Sean Ayco.

“We’re excited that we can do something for the community,” Dandurand said. “This is coming into the busy time of year for us, and we’re happy we can help.”

Kustom Sounds finished its Project Graduation gig for Kapa‘a High School’s program, and will be working with the Kaua‘i High School’s Project Graduation this Friday.

Following that, Dandurand said the calendar is full of local weddings and graduation parties.

“Kmart has always been community-oriented,” Moniz said. “They host a variety of store activities that benefit numerous community agencies and programs.”

“It’s just our way of showing that we care about the community that supports us,” Chytka said.

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

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