For some, Kaua‘i’s needy come first during holidays

the garden island

The two pallets of noodles couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

“It definitely counts towards the holiday food drive,” said Tony Koerte as the Kmart forklift made short work of loading them onto the Kaua‘i Food Bank truck. “But we need more.”

The contribution was made through the cooperation and coordination of Mike Dandurand of Kustom Sounds Kaua‘i, Jarrett Chytka of Kmart and the food bank.

Originally, the program called for a ton of food to be contributed, but as the program progressed, the number was tweaked to include 2,000 of something, Dandurand said.

“Usually, we just call Tony and he tells us what they need,” he said. “Then we check with Jarrett and he works out something so the contribution can be made.”

Since the program started earlier in the summer, the food bank has received 2,000 pounds of rice and 2,000 cans each of sausage and tuna.

Yesterday’s contribution comes after Kaua‘i Food Bank director Judy Lenthall extended the deadline for the holiday food drive.

While the food bank will still have difficulty achieving its goals, the $40,000-40,000 pounds of food mark recently received a boost from Kapa‘a Elementary students and the 600-plus pounds of food from their Jingle Bell Run Friday.

“This is good stuff because the mothers can use it as a snack,” Koerte said of the noodles. “It’s simple — they just add hot water and the kids have something to eat.”

It was yet another busy day of holiday charity.

The loading of the noodle pallets — containing almost 3,000 containers — drowned out the jingle of the nearby red kettle bell of the Salvation Army. Meanwhile, Frank Kleckner of the U.S. Marine Corps League’s Toys for Tots programs emerged with a wagonful of Christmas decorations.

On Tuesday, Chytka and Betty Bernabe, a long-time Kmart employee, brought over Wal-Mart’s contributions to Toys for Tots, and tomorrow, Kmart hosts Luis Soltren and his volunteers while they shop for needy children.

“We’re booked solid through the holidays,” Dandurand said. “But we can take a break to try and help those who need help. From here, it’s off to the Sheraton for a Christmas party.”

Koerte said the deadline for the food drive is Dec. 22. Contributions can be made at any fire stations or the Nawiliwili KFB office. Monetary contributions can be done online at www.kauaifoodbank.org.

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