Food drive overcomes weather

PUHI — Donations to the Saturday food drive were still flowing into the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch, Monday.

“These are food packages that came in after we left,” said Michelle Panoke, foodbank office manager. “People are just so generous.”

Wes Perreira, warehouse supervisor, said 2,506 pounds of food were collected from seven sites. An undisclosed amount of money was also donated.

“Our biggest source came from the Safeway store at Hokulei Village where 668 pounds was collected,” Perreira said. “And, we have that little Big Save Store in Waimea where more than 500 pounds of food came in.

“Last year, they were our biggest contributor. It’s just amazing what that little store in Waimea can do.”

The Safeway at Kauai Village in Waipouli came in at 654 pounds, just shy of the Hokulei Village store.

The Waimea Big Save tallied 508 pounds, followed by Walmart at 320 pounds.

“The shoppers were confused about what to get,” Panoke said. “We put together a list of the most wanted items and the store pre-packaged bags that shoppers could just purchase for the drive. That must have worked because we have a pallet of packages which were sold even after we left.”

She said demand for food never ends.

“Even the people on food stamps are having their benefits cut,” Panoke said. “If a person is on part-time employment, and they work an extra day, their benefits are cut and they need to go through the process of re-applying for benefits. They end up calling us, ‘where can we get food? We need some help.’”

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