Tuesday, May 17, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. joined Kaua‘i students and county workers to help feed homeless people on the island.
“We’re just going to get some food together and see if we can help some of these homeless people by feeding them,” Carvalho said Thursday night during the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank Mahalo Celebration. “We’re going to do this with Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity at their emergency housing project in Pua Loke.”
He got help on Friday from students attending Kaua‘i High School and Kawaikini Charter School, and Kamehameha School students who arrived home for the long President’s Day weekend.
“This is a good life lesson for the students,” said Lenny Rapozo, director of the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, whose daughter also helped the mayor.
“The students have everything — attending school at Kamehameha, getting iPods and iPads, and nice clothes. We got them together in a huddle before the people started coming and briefed them on what to expect,” he said.
Rapozo, along with a handful of county workers and MaBel Fujiuchi, director of the county’s Office of Economic Development, prepared food for about 100 people and set up a buffet line in the park.
“It’s Friday afternoon, the weather is good and this makes it feel more like a picnic,” Rapozo said.
“Some people came and took their meals and left, but others are lounging on the grass and enjoying the evening. It’s a good feeling,” he said.
Carvalho said he was happy he had an opportunity to talk with some of the people who are struggling with housing and listen to some of their stories.
“It’s good to know, and I’m glad they talked,” the mayor said.
Once the people were fed, the students prepared individual meals and wrapped them with foil, taking the finished plates to the Office of Economic Development housing project where others could enjoy the meal.
“They’ve got some who are working and won’t be back until later in the night,” Rapozo said. “This way, they can enjoy the meals, too.”
Carvalho said he would like to participate in similar events throughout the year.
• Dennis Fujimoto can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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