Holiday food drive kicks off tomorrow

NAWILIWILI — How do you fill a shopping cart when shelves are empty?

An agency shopper yesterday had that dilemma when she showed up at the Kaua‘i Food Bank facility in Nawiliwili.

“As of the end of August, our book inventory was 33,686 pounds of food,” said Judy Lenthall, director for the KFB. “And, I don’t have the exact figures, but it’s even less for the end of September.”

Lenthall said the KFB normally averages more than 500,000 pounds of food in a year which averages to about 60,000 pounds of food available for agencies and their representatives that help to feed some of Kaua‘i’s hungry population.

“Based on that, we’ve got about half of what we normally need in a month,” Lenthall said. “God forbid if we should have a disaster.”

Tomorrow marks the kickoff of the KFB’s Annual Holiday Food and Fund Drive with special collection bags and envelopes included in this newspaper.

The drive has a goal of $40,000 and 40,000 pounds of food, a lot of which will go toward replenishing the shelves at KFB.

Normally, demand for food rises during the holidays, Lenthall said. She hasn’t pinpointed a reason for this, but is already anticipating the special KFB events that will help alleviate some of the hunger pangs that come with the holiday season.

But to get there, people are invited to help provide the materials that make events like turkey days possible, Lenthall said.

Following the issuing of the holiday food and fund drive supplies in tomorrow’s edition of The Garden Island, Lenthall said volunteers will be manning collection sites at eight different locations around the island.

Many of them will be armed with scoop fishnets to gather monetary contributions, and residents can also drop off their paper collection bags with food at these sites which include the Ching Young Village in Hanalei, the Foodland store at Princeville Shopping Center, Safeway Stores at Kaua‘i Village, Wal-Mart, the Kukui Grove Shopping Center, Big Save in ‘Ele‘ele, Big Save in Waimea and Ishihara Market, also in Waimea.

Kelvin Moniz of the KFB said volunteers are still being accepted for these sites which will be open at 9 a.m. for collection.

Additionally, Lenthall said residents can drop off their contributions at any of the Kaua‘i Fire Department stations on the island as well as at the KFB facility in Nawiliwili.

As she spoke, a resident drove up in a station wagon and quickly unloaded a plastic milk container of canned goods, not needing to wait for a receipt.

The process of giving can be that easy.

On Saturday, in addition to contributing to help feed Kaua‘i’s hungry, there is an opportunity to meet some of the volunteers from organizations helping with the drive.

According to a press release, the KFB feeds about 5,000 people each month with about half of those being children.

For more information, call the KFB at 246-3809.


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