LIHUE — Kelvin Moniz barely had time to catch his breath over the weekend.
“Starting Friday, we were working almost all the way through Sunday,” said the Kauai Independent Food Bank executive director. “We had a lot of things taking place all over. It was just work, work, work.”
Partnering with organizations around the island, the Kauai Independent Food Bank’s holiday food and fund drive grew a bit following collections of $5,344 and 619 pounds of food.
Kukui Grove Center launched the marathon weekend for KIFB with a contribution of $1,500. This was enhanced by an additional $100 collected during the Kupuna ‘Ohana Bingo night Friday where bingo fans brought in 30 pounds of food in addition to the monetary collection.
“This is something we wanted to do for the community,” said Melissa McFerrin Warrack, special events coordinator for Kukui Grove. “We want to reach out more and help the community.”
With just enough time for a night’s sleep, Moniz made his way to the Kauai Coffee annual open house, where KIFB received a check for $2,000 from Kauai Coffee, the presentation being done by Fred Cowell, Kauai Coffee general manager, and Chef Rey Montemayor of the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club.
The funds were generated when Montemayor won the Celebrity Chef Charity Cookoff earlier at the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair with his slider of Kauai Shrimp and with King Farm eggplant, tomato lomi lomi and kaffire lime aloli featuring Kauai Coffee vanilla macadamia nut coffee.
Montemayor designated KIFB as beneficiary of his victory cash. This was the third time in seven years that KIFB was selected to receive the chef winnings.
A cup of Kauai Coffee later, Moniz and a volunteer from the Kauai Lions Club graced the inaugural Keiki Christmas Bash, which resulted in a presentation from A&B Hawaii Foundation of $1,000, the presentation being aided by Santa Phil who followed Moniz from the Kauai Coffee open house.
“I love this,” said Stacie Chiba Miguel, real estate manager for The Shops at Kukuiula, host of the Keiki Christmas Bash. “You know me. Anything for the children.”
Santa Phil also contributed to the excitement by being present at the Keiki Christmas Bash, his appearance generating 430 pounds of food and more than $700 for the picture with Santa feature that took place under a canopy of snow flurries and music from the Kapaa Middle School Choir and Ukulele Band as well as Wally Rita y Los Kauaianos.
“It’s not over,” said Leona Perez, KIFB programs manager. “We still have the Cub Scouts from Pack 148 doing its food drive, canvassing the neighborhoods in Lihue, Sunday.”
The Cub Scout canvassing netted $32 and 159 pounds of food to round out the long weekend for KIFB.