Mobile Munchies program gets boost from Sheraton

LIHUE — Susan Pittman said everything would be done by 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Lihue Lutheran Church.

“We’ve learned things along the way,” Pittman said. “When we started 12 years ago, it used to take us two or three hours to make 200 to 300 sandwiches. Now, we take the same amount of time to do more than 400 sandwiches.”

Performed as an outreach of the Lihue Lutheran Church, the group of happy talking volunteers were interrupted in their workflow as Jacob Vogelgesang and June Cappiello of the Sheraton Kauai Resort presented $3,419. That represented proceeds from Table 53 in the RumFire restaurant at the Poipu resort.

The donation was made as part of the Sheraton Kauai’s You Dine, We Donate program in which proceeds from beverage and food sales at Table 53 are set aside to benefit a local nonprofit.

Jan Rentz, one of the Mobile Munchies volunteers, said funds from Table 53 will be used to help with supplies needed to create the sandwiches and snack bags.

Each Mobile Munchie has a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread, a quarter cup of raisins, eight baby carrots, a small bag of chips, a granola bar and a fruit drink.

“I use $2.50 per sandwich as a guide to how much it costs,” Rentz said. “We definitely appreciate the help for this weekly project which has provided more than 20,000 meals through the different distribution points.”

On an average week, they go through eight 48-ounce jars of Skippy peanut butter, four 40-ounce jars of jelly, 22 double-loaves of bread, and about 40 pounds of fresh carrots.

The bags are prepared for distribution throughout the island by the volunteers who add a dose of happy talk to flavor the sandwiches with love.

“We’ve gotten a slight increase in what we need,” Pittman said. “Right now, we deliver 150 bags to the Boys & Girls Club, Kapaa Clubhouse, 40 to the Lihue Court, 80 to the Koloa Camp, 40 to Nana’s House in Waimea (the Boys & Girls Club, Waimea draws from this supply), 20 to Hale Hoomalu in Kapaa, and the Kauai Economic Opportunity comes by to pick up 20 bags.”

The Mobile Munchies program was born in Linda Garrett’s kitchen 12 years ago when the Lihue Lutheran Church volunteers did their weekly cooking and serving at the Salvation Army’s Kokua Soup Kitchen. The volunteers wanted something the diners could take with them to feed the younger children or elderly who were not able to get to the kitchen, to help tide them over until the next meal.

“We started with 36 sandwiches,” Garrett said. “And then it grew to 72. You can only do so much in someone’s kitchen. Now, we do more than 400 sandwiches, and we’re done by 8:30 a.m. Everyone here gets a sandwich, too.”

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