HANAPEPE — Manuel and Sharon Cabral are so busy that they cannot open their doors, Gwen Hamabata said on Saturday at the Hanapepe United Church of Christ.
Hamabata was supervising the cooking of the Okinawan Wintermelon Soup, the chores being handled by the Cabrals.
But the soup was just one of three facets of the Hanapepe United Church of Christ fundraiser to help with its community outreach programs.
Pastor Phyllis Meighen said in addition to the Okinawan soup, the church members also worked on 500 pies, 300 apple and 100 each of pumpkin and custard, which were pre-sold and Joe Teshima of ‘Ele‘ele offered plants he grew in his greenhouse to round out the offerings.
“We have a small congregation so there is not much in the budget,” said Joanne Nakashima. “We’re trying to raise $10,000 to do outreach work.”
Nakashima said the Hanapepe United Church of Christ serves up a community meal each Thursday to help the hungry.
“These are not necessarily homeless people,” Nakashima said. “But there are people who just need a little help and being able to enjoy a community meal helps more than just satisfying the hunger.”
She said in addition to the meal served in the church’s social hall, the church offers an Aloha Hour every Sunday following service and, in partnership with other churches in Hanapepe, offer a monthly food distribution.
Nancy Sato headed up the Hanapepe UCC volunteers who worked for four weeks to get ready for the 500 pies.
Meighen said the church started selling home-baked pies as a fundraiser since 1985 and added the soup last year.
She said the plants, about 800 pots for Saturday’s event, are grown by Teshima who is 92 years old and has been supplying the plants at bargain prices to shoppers for several years.
“He’s 92 and we don’t know how much longer he’ll be doing this so we need to have this event,” the pastor said. “In addition to the plants, which he sells for really good prices, he supplied 17 wintermelons for the soup. If you check the prices at the supermarkets, that is a substantial donation.”
Hamabata, whose mother Sue, the former proprietor of the Green Gardens Restaurant, said last year, the soup ran out in less than an hour, but with 17 melons and the donation of an entire pig, she hoped the supply would last four hours.
“Manuel and Sharon have been doing a good job cooking up the soup,” Hamabata said. “They did a lot of the work in the former Green Gardens location where they are trying to open up Pupus, Etc., but they have been so busy, they’ve already catered three, or four parties with about 300 to 400 people at each one.”
Hamabata said Sharon used to work as a waitress at Green Gardens and wanted to open a business for the longest time.
“The catering is killing us,” Sharon said. “But we love it! When we open, hopefully in November, we’ll have breakfast and lunch — nothing fancy, but pure local; good taste and good price.”