LIHU‘E — The Salvation Army was a double beneficiary Saturday when members of the Rotary Club of Kaua‘i turned out to give the Lihu‘e Corps Community Center a fresh coat of paint.
Working under the Weinberg Friends Program, the Rotary Club of Kaua‘i’s service project earned a charitable organization of the club’s choosing a $10,000 grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
Tyler Chihara, the Weinberg project chair for the Rotary Club of Kaua‘i, said the organization selected the Kokua Soup Kitchen as the beneficiary.
“These funds will be used by the Salvation Army to feed the community in need at the Kokua Soup Kitchen,” Chihara said. “During the last six months, the Kitchen has served more than 5,000 meals.”
Envoy Larry Groenleer of the Salvation Army, Lihu‘e Corps, was doubly pleased.
“Look at that sign. I’ve never seen it look that good. I was asking around, and no one seems to know when the last time the church or headquarters was painted,” Groenleer said. “Not only does the church get a new coat of paint, look at the volunteers. There are some ladies cleaning out the plantings and there are other volunteers replacing burnt out lights and cleaning everything. This is a blessing.”
Groenleer said the Kokua Soup Kitchen is officially into summer.
“Our numbers have been increasing,” Groenleer said. “For the Kitchen, it’s already summer and our meal services go past the 100-people-served mark.”
He said during the summer months, the number of clients being served always rises and of that number, there are a lot more children and young people because school is out and they have no other source of food.
The Kokua Soup Kitchen offers a meal to anyone in need, three times a week, at the Lihu‘e Corps. A similar program at the Hanapepe Corps serves the Westside.
Rotarian Bill Harper, normally seen distributing holiday meals at The Salvation Army, was helping with the painting.
He said the Rotary Club of Kaua‘i was the very first Rotary Club on the island, receiving its charter in 1937. The second Rotary Club was chartered in 1943, the Rotary Club of West Kaua‘i.