KIFB launches holiday food drive under increased demand

WAILUA — The Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank Holiday Food Drive launches today with the insertion of the food collection packages and remittance envelopes in The Garden Island newspaper.

Kelvin Moniz, the KIFB food management director, said during the holidays, demand for emergency food requests have a tendency to increase.

However, the goal for the 2011 Holiday Food and Fund Drive remains unchanged from the previous drive of $40,000 and 40,000 pounds of food.

“Right now, we averaging about 12,309 emergency requests per month,” Moniz said. “In August, we ended the month with 12,693 emergency food requests.”

Moniz said based on the 98,474 requests received from January through August, demand is about 36 percent more than the same period in 2010.

That demand got some help recently with two food drives hosted by community groups ahead of the holiday food drives.

The Pioneer Hi-Bred International collected about $100 and 100 pounds of food during its recent open house at the Waimea Research Center, and on Saturday, the Kaua‘i Chapter of the AARP hosted a community luncheon with free entertainment, coinciding with a collection benefiting the KIFB.

Moniz said that helps with some of the food needed for distribution to take care of the additional demand for food.

He said from January through August, the KIFB distributed 445,300 pounds of food, or an average of 55,662 pounds each month to more than 40 authorized non-profit agencies and churches.

“We are here to serve the hungry people on Kaua‘i,” Moniz said.

During the food drive which runs through December, residents and visitors are asked to contribute healthy, non-perishable food items or financial donations through any of the fire stations located around the island, the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative office or through the KIFB Nawiliwili facility.

Some of the suggested items being requested include brown, or hapa, a mixture of white and brown, rice, canned soups, canned vegetables, canned tuna, Pediasure and Ensure, pasta, peanut butter and canned fruits.

Coming on the heels of the distribution of collection bags and remittance envelopes, the KIFB will host its Holiday Food Drive Collection Day, Saturday at various locations from Hanalei to Waimea from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with several locations being available until 6 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to help at some of the locations which include Walmart, Kmart, Ching Young Village in Hanalei, Kukui Grove Center, the Times Big Save stores in Waimea and Koloa, Ishihara Market in Waimea, Safeway in Waipouli, and Foodland in Waipouli and Princeville.

For more information, or to volunteer during the food collection day, call Moniz at 246-3809, ext. 102, or email kmoniz@kauaifoodbank.org.

The mission of the KIFB is to prevent hunger, provide nutritious food for the hungry and respond to emergencies, its website states.

Visit www.kauaifoodbank.org for more information.

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