Fighting hunger, helping hoofs

Shereen Hoopii, the Girl Scouts Kauai membership and program service coordinator, said the scouts wanted to give back.

Following a successful Girl Scout Cookie campaign, they did just that: with animals and food.

Kamalei Taylan, Taylee Yamamoto, Sarah Trimble, Mackenzie and Fiona Godsill of the Girl Scout after school programs at the Kalaheo and Eleele schools were part of an effort to collect more than 325 pounds of food to help feed some of Kauai’s hungry people. 

Kelvin Moniz, the KIFB executive director, made a special effort to open the facility which is normally closed on Saturdays, to accommodate the girls, noting that these efforts were truly appreciated because the food collected by the Girl Scouts will probably go toward the Keiki Backpack Program, where keiki receive a backpack of healthy food and snacks to carry them through the weekend.

“This is touching,” Moniz said. “These are children who are the same age as those who receive the help from the food they brought in.”

Hoopii said the Girl Scouts wanted to do a Helping Hands project utilizing some of the proceeds from the recent Girl Scout Cookie campaign, which ended in March.

Sunday, about 18 Girl Scouts from Troop 775 in Kapaa, Troop 683 from Kalaheo, and Girl Scouts from the Wilcox and Kapaa after school program descended on the Healing Horses Kauai facility in Wailua with more than $450 worth of supplies, which included feed, shampoo, conditioner, buckets and rakes.

“For a lot of the girls this is the first time they get to be close to horses,” Hoopii said. “They all wanted to do this. We had a program from the Westside where they helped feed people, and this project from the Eastside helps with the program which helps improve the physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being of Kauai’s youth and disabled community through equine-assisted activities.”

Following the delivery, the girls were given instruction on horses, helped feed and water, and “paint a horse,” an activity which arose following a question about horses and baths.

“This is absolutely fantastic,” said Jessica Fredericks, the Healing Horses Kauai director. “Healing Horses is a therapeutic facility and is an almost all-volunteer effort. With the high cost of water — horses drink between 15 to 20 gallons of water, daily — and feed, the donated food definitely helps these animals help people.”

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