Safeway leads bagging hunger

LIHUE — Josie Higashi-Sasaki is a student at Waimea Canyon School who was spending her first days of summer vacation manning the Bag Summer Hunger display at the Safeway store in Hokulei Village, Wednesday.

“My sister Leilani is supposed to be here, too,” Josie said. “But she’s in Koke‘e, today. I’ll be watching the display for as long as my mother works.”

Josie’s mom, Blanche Acoba, is a Safeway employee participating in the national Bag Summer Hunger food drive. In Hawaii, the food will benefit the Hawaii Foodbank, and on Kauai, it goes to the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai branch.

The Bag Summer Hunger drive started June 1 and runs through June 27 where shoppers donate $10 to cashiers with the contribution yielding more than eight pounds of food for the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai branch.

“This is similar to the hunger bags Safeway sold during the holiday season,” said Wes Perreira, the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai branch manager. “We got nearly 50,000 pounds of food on that successful campaign.”

Lesah Merritt, Safeway, Hokulei store manager, said since starting the campaign on Thursday, the Hokulei store is No. 1 out of 287 stores in the Northern California district.

“We were rocking,” Merritt said. “On Saturday alone, we processed more than 300 bags. The shoppers are enthusiastic and that makes our people get excited. It is still early in the campaign and we invite everyone to come and get excited about helping feed our island’s people.”

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