Silver lining

PUHI — When Alexis Cacabelos arrived at the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch, her first deed was not to unload the food sitting in the back of the pickup.

Instead, the 13-year-old focused on finishing her snack while her mother, Debra Isono, and Wes Perreira, the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch warehouse manager, did the heavy lifting.

“Being hungry is kind of like feeling really empty,” said Cacabelos, a Cadette Girl Scout. “I want to help people not be hungry — not just here, but everywhere in the world.”

Cacabelos’ food, part of her effort at earning the Girl Scout Silver Award Take Action Project, weighed 331 pounds, surpassing her goal of collecting 250 pounds.

Cacabelos distributed fliers announcing her intention, utilizing the Aloha Dance Studio as a drop site in March.

“Since I was a young child, I’ve helped out with the Hawaii Foodbank’s annual food drive on Kauai,” Cacabelos said. “I immediately knew that I wanted to organize a community food drive myself. Everybody else was doing collecting clothing, shoes, and all kinds of other stuff. I wanted to collect food.”

Perreira was impressed with the amount of food she collected in such a short time.

“This is impressive,” he said. “Alexis, her Girl Scout troop, and her family, have been helping during the annual food drive.”

This year, the drive is on April 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at two Safeway stores, Walmart, Foodland in Princeville, and all of the Westside Big Save locations. Alexis will be in charge at the Safeway in Hokulei Village.

Isono said now that Alexis has earned the Silver Award, the highest award that a Cadette Girl Scout can earn, she and the troop are looking at the Prudential Award which is presented by President Barack Obama.

“This is a community service award,” Cacabelos said. “We’ve done a lot of that, including helping and walking in the Alzheimer’s Walk, helping serve water at The Kauai Marathon, dancing at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and now, we’ll be helping at the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch Annual Food Drive, April 16.”

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