Marriott delivers almost 4 tons of food

NAWILIWILI — The amount was a bit short, but that didn’t matter as Judy Lenthall, director of the Kaua‘i Food Bank, smiled while watching a volunteer unload pallets of food, Monday.

With the economic uncertainty, Chuck Brady, human resources director of the Marriott, said this year’s food drive fell short of their projected goal of 9,000 pounds.

“But we are part of the community, and Jolene Ogle has been working hard for the past six weeks, knocking on department doors and asking for food,” Brady said.

Representatives of the Marriott properties on Kaua‘i accompanied the delivery truck that arrived with 7,585 pounds of food, including bags of badly needed rice.

Brady said both the Kaua‘i Lagoons property and the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club met their respective goals of 2,000 and 9,000 pounds, respectively. Combined, the delivery totalled just short of four tons of food.

“A lot of the workers came through in the final week of the drive,” said Brad Snyder, general manager of the Kaua‘i Lagoons. “We finished with 40 pounds to spare.”

Brady added that at the Kaua‘i Marriott, department managers from the combined Front Desk, Concierge and Bell desk have an incentive program which they met. However, he said rather than use the funds for themselves, they opted to use the incentive bonus to buy 800 pounds of rice for the food bank.

“We hope that this helps take care of some of the needs in the community,” Brady said, apologetic about not making their overall goal. “We understand about the economic uncertainty, and this is the least we can do.”

Later in December, Brady said associates at the Waiohai will be putting together holiday packages for some of the homeless on the island.

The Marriott delivery comes on the heels of Saturday’s first-ever Food Fest coordinated and initiated by Andy Melamed of the KQNG Radio Group as Kelvin Moniz was wrapping up the food collection by unloading the last of the canned goods collected from the Augie T concert.

Lenthall said, “This third-party special event was the best one-day third-party event in the history of the food bank.”

She said the total cash collection between the Food Fest and the Augie T concert amounted to $4,500. Additionally, Moniz said the Food Fest collected 1,111 pounds of food with more than a hundred pounds being added from the concert collection.

Collectively, Moniz said the Kaua‘i Food Bank Holiday Food and Fund drive is at the halfway mark with just several more weeks remaining in this season’s collection.

Traditionally, more of the bigger drives and collections come in toward the end of the drive, but the food bank leaders are still working to fulfill the 40,000 pounds of food and $40,000 goal.

But even as food bank workers moved to process the big Marriott delivery, smaller drop-offs were taking place as Bernie Tsao, director of the Global Christian Surf Mission pulled up with about a hundred pounds of food in his car.

“We started the food drive about a month ago,” Tsao said. “This is only one collection. Since we started, I think we’ve brought over about 700 pounds of food.”

To top off the hectic morning activity at the food bank, Joe and Tina Brun rolled up in their mini van which was not brimming with boxes of food.

Instead, Tina had two packages of mini loaves and muffins which she offered to the food bank staff.

“We had a St. Rafael pantry event, and our son Paul baked these for that,” Tina said. “This is for all the hard work the food bank people do.”

People can still contribute to the holiday food and fund drive by dropping off their contributions at any of the fire stations on the island, or at the Kaua‘i Food Bank during its operating hours.

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