Volunteerism equals college credit

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kelvin Moniz, executive director of the Kauai Independent Food Bank, right, accepts food from Tyler Toyofuku and his Mokihana Insurance family Wednesday following the food drive that ended Tuesday afternoon.

When Tyler Toyofuku turned over more than 325 pounds of food to the Kauai Independent Food Bank Wednesday it was just a page of a summer project.

“This is the highlight of his project,” said Dean Toyofuku, the college senior’s father. “Normally he would have to take a 40-hour community-service class at Linfield College. But he lives in Hawaii so he was approved by his professor to do the food drive in lieu of taking the class.”

The Mokihana Insurance food drive was scheduled to take place July 25 through 29, but was extended to include food contributions from customers for the entire month.

Kelvin Moniz, executive director of the Kauai Independent Food Bank, said the food drive was just a part of Tyler Toyofuku’s help to the food bank.

“He didn’t just do this,” Moniz said. “Earlier, he was helping receive and pack food during the Mayor-a-thon in Kapaa, where the food collection was evenly shared between the Hawaii Foodbank Kauai Branch and the Kauai Independent Food Bank. He also took our van and detailed it out in addition to helping in our warehouse.”

Moniz said Tyler Toyofuku put in more than 40 hours of service to help the food bank.

“We always gave food when I was younger,” Tyler Toyofuku said. “This way, I could do what I did before but expand on it. During the Mayor-a-thon, it was OK when it was slow. But when the people showed up, that was hard work taking in the food, separating and packing everything.”

Moniz said the Mokihana Insurance food drive results will go toward KIFB programs of providing food to keiki and kupuna.

“We have an increase of two more Keiki Cafe schools for this coming school year,” Moniz said. “We also have one more school joining the Backback program, and there is always need for the emergency food distribution. This food will really help.”

Kauai Independent Food Bank will also host its 12th annual Dine Out for Hunger campaign on Thursday, Aug. 8, when 19 restaurants will turn over a percentage of a diner’s food bill to benefit KIFB.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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