Dine out, help fill food bank

LHUE — Several restaurants on Kauai will be participating in the Ninth annual Dine Out For Hunger on Thursday.

The event hosted by the Kauai Independent Foodbank will bring 19 eateries together in an effort to feed the hungry.

“The whole thing started when I read about Dine Out on Oahu, and I saw that Mediterranean Gourmet, in Haena, participated,” said Kelvin Moniz, executive director of KIFB. “I wanted to do one on Kauai, so I asked them if they’d help me plan one.”

“Nine years later, we’re still running,” he said.

He estimates about $8,000 is raised every year. That money goes to support KIFB programs like Keiki Cafe and Growing Food Together. On Thursday, 10 percent of every bill will go to KIFB.

Participating restaurants include: Gina’s at Yumi’s Restaurant, Shrimp Station-Waimea, Brennecke’s Beach Broiler, Bubba Burgers Koloa, Hukilau Lanai, Shrimp Station-Kapaa, Bazil, Rob’s Good Times Grill, Harvest Market Natural Foods & Cafe and Postcards Cafe.

Bazil and Rob Good Time’s Grill, both in Lihue, are new additions this year.

Duelane Rita, owner of Shrimp Station, said the restaurant has been participating in the Dine Out For Hunger event for eight years.

“We saw an advertisement for it, and called them. We knew right then that we wanted to participate,” she said.

There are two Shrimp Station locations on Kauai — one in Waimea and one in Kapaa. When the one in Kapaa opened two years ago, Rita made sure it participated in Dine Out For Hunger.

“We believe in what the food bank is doing — providing food for not just the homeless, but for schools too,” she said.

Both locations advertise that they are participating in Dine Out For Hunger, so people come specifically on that night, she said.

“We’re busy to begin with, but we do get busier once people know what we’re doing,” she said. “They make sure they participate.”

Keoki’s Paradise in Poipu is also participating in the fundraiser.

“We’re supporting the great cause to combat hunger on our island of Kauai because its close to our hearts, and giving back to our local community has been at the core of Keoki’s Paradise and T.S. Restaurants since it’s founding,” said Derek Kressler, general manager.

Keoki’s has partnered with KIFB for several years, he added.

“We are looking forward to a busy night and encourage everyone to take a night off from cooking and dine at one of the great restaurants supporting this cause,” Kressler said.

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