NAWILIWILI — There was applause, laughter, and happy talk as representatives of Kauai’s credit unions were joined by Kauai Independent Food Bank staff and board members Wednesday at the KIFB facility in Nawiliwili.
KIFB executive director Kelvin Moniz announced the results of the two-week food drive hosted by the credit unions who had a goal of $15,000 for the drive ending May 22.
“We appreciate the effort taken on by the credit unions to help feed Kauai’s people, especially the keiki,” Moniz said. “This recent drive was primarily to collect dollars, not necessarily canned goods and nonperishable food.”
Overall, the six credit unions on the island amassed $14,515.65, led by the efforts of the Kauai Community Federal Credit Union’s whose total amounted to $7,664.90, followed by the Garden Island Federal Credit Union adding $5,500.
“I’m so glad to have been a part of this effort,” said a credit union representative who requested anonymity. “I was homeless three years ago and know the feeling of being in need. I was so appreciative of the food banks who gave me one less thing to worry about. Being part of this food drive is just one way I can give back.”
The McBryde Federal Credit Union added $460 plus 60 pounds of food and the Kauai Teachers Federal Credit Union came up with $225 and 4.6 pounds of food.
The food contribution, according to Moniz, translated to $1,364.22 in cash bringing the overall collection to $15,879.87, and surpassing the $15,000 goal.
“This is the fourth year the credit unions have done the food drive to benefit the Kauai Independent Food Bank,” said Terri Kaniho of the Kauai Community Federal Credit Unions. “We had a lot of fun doing it, hosting food sales, bake sales, rummage sales for the two weeks in May. The individual credit unions also threw in staff incentives to encourage participation from the individual credit unions.”
Proceeds will go primarily to bolster the keiki programs, including the Keiki Cafe, the Backpack programs, and other initiatives which provide healthy snacks to keiki in after school programs administered by the Boys & Girls Club.
“Additionally, the hurricane season started a few days ago, and just as residents are preparing their disaster kits, KIFB is setting aside food for disasters, one of the KIFB mission statements,” Moniz said. “We actually had someone drop off 500 pounds of food from their last year’s disaster kit. The canned goods were short-dated so are already scheduled for distribution this week.”