Letters for Dec. 4, 2016

• Thankful for all the help

Thankful for all the help

The St. Catherine food pantry in Kapaa is thankful for all the support we received. The pantry is almost 7 years old and distributes food to an average of 350 people once a week at the beaches in Kapaa or at the church on Wednesday. All the clients are thankful for the support.

This ministry could not exist without the help of so many. We get 90 percent of our food from the Hawaii Food Bank in Puhi. They sell us an average of 3,000 pounds of food a week at 18 cents a pound and give us bread, milk and some dairy products for free.

Cost-U-Less in Kapaa also gives us many free or heavily discounted items. Safeway is another socially minded company and gives the pantry day-old bread or provides cereal or rice at a discounted price so we can provide it for children. Last, but not least, the St. Catherine School children collect several hundred pounds of food a month for the pantry.

The Kauai Humane Society is also a blessing. They provide free pet food once a month (through Gomez Alley) to help keep several hundred pets in their homes. The new director, Scott Pisani, attended our distribution in November to see all the grateful people. KHS’s mobile spay and neuter van has visited our site many times and altered more than 50 pets. The Blooming Tails thrift shop has provided jackets and blankets — which we take to the beaches — and up to 20 bags of clothes a week for distribution with our food program.

We are also thankful for the 40-plus volunteers that collectively put in 80-90 hours a week to help get the food, set up or help with the distribution at the beaches and from our church. June Munoz of Ho‘ola Lahui Hawai‘i has attended our distribution and accompanied us to the beaches for years to help clients improve their lives by assisting access to medical and dental services.

This ministry could not succeed without the financial support we received from the United Way, Friends of Hawaii, Atherton Foundation and the parishioners of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church.

A big mahalo for supporting all the food pantries on our island and helping the less fortunate ohana of our community.

Mark Whitson, St. Catherine food pantry operations manager


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