Carrying the ‘Torch’

  • Photo by Roseann Freitas

    Kauai Independent Food Bank staff and board members accept the 2019 Torch Award for Hawaii Charity of the Year. From left, Dennis Baier, Leona Perez, Lloyd Kajikawa, Rowena Cobb, John Moore, Judy Arrigo, Sandi Cummings and Kelvin Moniz

When record-breaking rainfall led to flooding in April 2018 on Kauai, the Kauai Independent Food Bank responded.

It supplied over 26,000 pounds of food to families in need. It hosted drop-off points for donations. It coordinated efforts to ensure food and supplies arrived where they were needed most.

“It is for that kind of response that Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific honored KIFB with the 2019 Torch Award for Hawaii Charity of the Year,” said a press release. “The prestigious award honors a charity demonstrating effectiveness in providing positive change in its community ethically and responsibly.

Accepting the award on behalf of KIFB was Kelvin Moniz, executive director, Leona Perez, programs manager, Sandi Cummings, accountant, and board members, Lloyd Kajikawa, Rowena Cobb, Judy Arrigo, Dennis Baier and John Moore.

In the days and months following the 2018 flooding, KIFB went beyond supplying food and set up two distributions centers to help the Koloa flood victims. The efforts included distributing shovels, cleaning supplies, and Home Depot gift cards to over 50 families.

The damage from the flooding impacted local taro farmers, so KIFB partnered with the Kauai Farm Bureau to inform farmers of food available to them. KIFB also donated five-gallon buckets and supplies to the farmers to restore the land.

In January, KIFB stepped in to assist furloughed federal workers by providing a two-week supply of healthy staples.


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