Above and beyond

KAPAA — Michelle Panoke of the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch, said the drive at Kapaa Elementary School was the biggest single amount she’s seen in her tenure there.

“This is beyond blessings,” Panoke said Tuesday, while picking up the school’s food collection. “This is the biggest school collection I’ve seen since being at the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch for the past six years. These kids went above and beyond!”

The drive started April 14 and ended Friday. It netted 1,756 pounds of food.

Alexis Taito, Kapaa Elementary Student Council treasurer, said setting up the drive was not that difficult.

“The hardest part was bringing the food collected back and forth to the storage room,” said Titus Martin, a representative to the student council. “Some of the food we could bring back by hand. Others, we had to use carts to move. I think the second grade class collected the most food.”

Panoke said the Kapaa Elementary School drive joins the 320-pound contribution collected earlier from Kalaheo Elementary School.

“We also got a contribution from the state Judiciary Department where Calah Nakasone and Anita Applegate had different ideas about fundraising,” Panoke said. “Their food drive consisted of three components all wrapped into one — bento sale, baked goods sale, and a canned food drive. By the end of the drive, they had collected 314 pounds of food and raised $1,242 in cash.”

Nakasone said the bake sale was “by far the easiest way to raise money because everyone likes baking and eating,” making the event a fun event and rewarding because they know they are helping the needy on Kauai.

Panoke said with the collection from Kapaa Elementary School, the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch has a total of 2,684 pounds of food, and $1,661 from state employees.

This weekend is the National Letter Carriers campaign. Residents can leave canned food contributions in the blue plastic bags which were in their mailboxes for the postal carriers to pick up Saturday.

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