Homework that helps

ANAHOLA and PUHI — Dodger Middlebrook, an eighth grade student at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, said he’s seen people who are hungry.

“I want to visit the food bank to find out how they process the food and help feed the people,” said Middlebrook, who led a food drive project by the CKMS leadership class that collected 223 pounds of food which they donated to the Kauai Independent Food Bank’s Keiki Backpack Program.

The program provides less fortunate students with rucksacks filled with healthy food to help them get through the weekend on a full stomach.

While it was a hefty amount by many standards, students said they wished they collected even more.

“We’ve collected more on other food drives,” said Gayle Thompson, the CKMS leadership class adviser. “We’ll, hopefully, do better on the next one.”

Kelvin Moniz, KIFB executive director, said the donations make a difference.

“What you do makes a big difference in changing the face of hunger,” Moniz told the students. “The compassion and sharing by people in the community makes a big impact in helping keep people from going hungry.”

Families from the early learning program, Tutu and Me, in Kapaa, also raised food for KIFB.

La Contrades, the site leader for Tutu and Me, and Monica Kaauwai, the community liaison for Hui Hoomalu, said the pre-preschool collected 183 pounds of food.

“We just finished a lesson in compassion and sharing,” Contrades said. “The food drive was part of that lesson — sharing so others do not need to suffer. We do a life lesson theme each month.”

Moniz said the collections totaled more than 400 pounds and will go toward the KIFB Holiday Food and Fund Drive which continues through Dec. 31.

Anyone interested in contributing canned and nonperishable food are able to drop it off at any of the fire stations on the island. For those who want to contribute financially, donations are accepted at the KIFB facility in Nawiliwili.

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