KIFB Food Collection dents holiday goal

NAWILIWILI — Kelvin Moniz, the food operations director at the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, said there still is a long way to go for the KIFB Holiday Food and Fund Drive.

Launched on Wednesday with the enclosure of the collection bags and remittance envelopes in The Garden Island newspaper, the KIFB staff coordinated with more than 130 volunteers to host its food collection day Saturday at nine different locations spanning Hanalei to Waimea.

“This was my first experience at a food drive,” said Norma Barton, the KIFB Assistant Manager. “But I heard from people on how well-organized the event was, and I’m touched by the strong community support there is to helping feed Kaua‘i’s hungry people.”

Moniz said the weekend food drive netted $8,500 and more than 1,200 pounds of food.

“We still have a long way to go toward reaching our goal of $40,000 and 40,000 pounds of food,” Moniz said. “Following Saturday’s collections, we still need about $31,000 and about 38,000 pounds of food.”

He said the weekend’s collection was a little down from the 2010 collection where $12,000 was raised, but felt with all of the different events being scheduled throughout the island, there was not going to be the same amount collected compared with last year.

Additionally, Moniz said the collection hours were curtailed from its original 6 p.m. closing at various sites to a uniform 3 p.m. closing across the board.

“Our volunteers did a tremendous job as they’ve always done,” Moniz said. “We could not accomplish what we do without their support and help.”

Some of the groups helping with the collections include the Church of the Pacific, St. Rafael’s Church, St. Williams Church, the Kalaheo Missionary Church, the Lihu‘e Missionary Church, the Leo Club of Kaua‘i High School, the East Kaua‘i Lions Club, the Key Club of Kaua‘i High School, the Rotary Club of Kaua‘i, the Kapa‘a High School cheerleaders and the volunteers from First Hawaiian Bank.

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

“We really want to thank the community for all of its support to help us with this mission,” Barton said.

Moniz said residents can continue to drop off their contributions of non-perishable foods to any of the fire stations on the island or at the KIFB facility in Nawiliwili.

As a suggestion, the top most wanted nutritious food items include brown, or hapa rice, canned soups, canned vegetables, canned tuna, Pediasure/Ensure, pasta, peanut butter and canned fruits.

For more information, visit www.kauaifoodbank.org or contact Moniz at kmoniz@kauaifoodbank.org or 246-3809 ext. 102.

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