Answered prayers

KOLOA — Tina Brun of St. Raphael’s Church said the timing of the Grove Farm delivery to the church was perfect on Monday.

“We have an outreach coming up on Aug. 20,” Brun said. “The food delivered by the Grove Farm Company will be used to help this outreach program which covers the area from the Waimea River mouth to Lihue, and perhaps the Hanamaulu Beach Park.”

Grove Farm Company delivered more than 500 pounds of food, a result of its in-house drive, said Marissa Sandblom, a Grove Farm vice president. She said Grove Farm selected St. Raphael’s because the church is celebrating its 175th anniversary.

“A lot of the food was contributed by the community groups who use our conference room for their meetings and presentations,” she said. “We don’t charge them to use the conference room, but we encourage them to donate food which goes back to helping the community.”

The food Grove Farm delivered will be used to create packages for the upcoming outreach program, Brun said.

“There are a lot of people in need out there,” she said.

Brun said St. Raphael’s does four outreach programs a year and will increase that to five for this year, including a big one planned in November as part of the church’s 175th anniversary, where they will reserve the Salt Pond Park to prepare turkey and other goodies for people who need help.

“When we go out to these places, we see how many people there are,” Brun said. “A lot of them have families, are working two or more jobs, and still don’t have enough to even pay the rent. A lot of them have children who are in school.”

Dave Hinazumi, Grove Farm development officer, asked if there were other items the church could use for its food outreach program.

“Water,” Brun said without hesitating. “Water. Diapers, and ladies’ hygiene products. The people always ask, ‘Aunty Tina, you get water?’ There is a lady who lives out in the Waimea River area who has a son that requires dialysis. She always needs towels, extra clothing and health products in addition to food.”

St. Raphael’s has been doing food outreach for more than 30 years, with Brun taking over 13 years ago.

“You need to experience to see what these people go through,” Brun said. “We sometimes take the church’s youth groups so they can experience. At Salt Pond, on one of the trips, there was a four-year-old boy rummaging through clothing we had. We asked him if he needed a bag, and he agreed. After filling the bag, we asked if he needed another, and he said, ‘No, got to leave stuff for the other people.’”

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