Credit unions unite for food bank

LIHUE — Leona Perez, Kauai Independent Food Bank’s programs manager, said school hasn’t been out for a week and they’ve already seen an increase in the number of families coming in for emergency food.

“With no school to supplement their children’s diet, these families come in for food,” Perez said.

The Kauai Independent Food Bank is between its spring and fall food drives, and relies on contributions to sustain its efforts at filling these emergency food requests as well as maintain supplies for its client agencies.

“It’s lucky that we have people coming in with contributions,” said Kelvin Moniz, KIFB executive director. “Their contributions enable us to be able to take care of these families who come walking in as well as keep our agencies’ needs supplied.”

Kauai’s credit unions will launch their fifth annual Kauai Independent Food Bank Food Drive from June 6 through June 17, said Terri Kaniho of the Kauai Community Federal Credit Union.

“Last year, with the support of our community, we surpassed our $15,000 goal and raised an overall $15,879,” she said. “This year, our goal is to meet our goal from last year, and strive to do more. Any little bit counts.”

Participating credit unions include the Garden Island Federal Credit Union, the Kauai Community Federal Credit Union, the Kauai Government Employees Federal Credit Union, the Kauai Teachers Federal Credit Union, the Kekaha Federal Credit Union, and McBryde Federal Credit Union.

With a goal of “Together, let’s plant hope into the lives of others and ‘End Hunger on Kauai!’” contributions of food or monetary donations can be dropped off at any of the participating credit unions.

People who are not members of a credit union are welcome to fuel the food drive.

“If we can help people worry about one less thing as they rebuild their lives, then our effort truly make a difference,” said Stephanie Shinno of the Garden Island Federal Credit Union. “Sometimes, a simple act of kindness can go a long way.”

Lisa Murphy Allison of the Kauai Government Employees Federal Credit Union said credit unions around the world share an important philosophy of “People Helping People.”

“Together, we make it happen,” she said.

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