Hawaii Foodbank set to provide for shutdown families

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Chyenne Beach of the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch shows off an individual package that will serve federal workers impacted by the partial government shutdown. Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch will distribute its initial load, Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. at the HGEA offices in Lihue.

LIHUE — Families impacted by the longest government shutdown in U.S. history are able to get food packages on Thursdays for a month starting Thursday through Feb. 21.

The distributions are made possible through the partnership with the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch and the Hawaii State AFL-CIO.

“We know many government workers are struggling to make ends meet as they brace for their second missed paycheck,” said Wes Perreira, director of operations for the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch. “With every passing day, more families are being impacted by the government shutdown. For families feeling the impacts of the partial government shutdown, please know that emergency food assistance is available. You are not alone.”

Federal workers, on presentation of their federal identification, can pick up food packages at the HGEA offices at 3213 Akahi Street in Lihue from noon to 4 p.m. every Thursday through Feb. 21. The packages will be distributed while supplies last.

Michelle Panoke, Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch office manager, said the staff and volunteers spent the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday packing for the first distribution.

“We finished the first load that was already picked up,” Panoke said. “We are packing more to supplement the initial load that will include enough food to take care of an individual for a couple of weeks.”

Lisa Marie Akau of the American Federation of Government Employees said they are grateful and humbled by the support received from the Hawaii State AFL-CIO, and the Hawaii Foodbank.

“Federal workers are proving that they never quit despite not getting paid,” said Randy Perreira, president of the Hawaii AFL-CIO. “The Union community, and the Hawaii Foodbank are working to help get the workers through this financial crisis. We urgently call on our elected leaders in Washington, D.C., to stop the government shutdown.”

For more information on the Kauai food distribution, or to make a donation, visit www.hawaflcio.org, call 597-1441, or call the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch at 482-2224.

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