Michelle Panoke, Hawai‘i Foodbank’s Kaua‘i branch manager, said collections of the Kaua‘i Division of the National Association of Letter Carriers were down 17 percent from the 2011 total.
The NALC drive was hosted on May 12; postal patrons were encouraged to place food items in a specially distributed bag for pickup by postal workers on their deliveries.
Panoke said this year’s NALC Kaua‘i totals amounted to 6,521 pounds of food, down from the 2011 total, which tipped the scales at 7,891 pounds. The Kaua‘i manager attributed the decline in contributions to the status of the island’s economy.
The collection was presented to the Hawai‘i Foodbank’s Kaua‘i branch, which will in turn have it available for distribution among its 24 nonprofit agencies around the island.
The Hawai‘i Foodbank’s Kaua‘i branch has distributed 222,884 pounds of food to Kaua‘i’s needy from January through April of this year.
“This indicates that food drives like the NALC, as well as donations from the community, are in high demand,” Panoke said in an email. “The Hawai‘i Foodbank would like to extend its heartfelt appreciation to the NALC for their hard work and dedication to the people of Kaua‘i. They perform ‘double-duty’ of delivering mail and picking up donations.”
The NALC food drive plays a paramount role in feeding the needy on Kaua‘i, the State of Hawai‘i and throughout the nation, collecting 1.1 billion pounds of food in the past 20 years, nationwide.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.