Students soar in food drive

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kelvin Moniz, left, Rizalde Tolentino, right, Cora Balocan and Rudy Pagulayan of the Kauai Independent Food Bank accept 1,368 pounds of food from the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School student council Friday afternoon at the school.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kelvin Moniz, partially hidden at left, and Elsie Wilcox Elementary School Vice Principal Deena Fontana, standing center, coordinate the collection of food Friday afternoon at the school.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Rizalde Tolentino, left, and Rudy Pagulayan, right, of the Kauai Independent Food Bank, accept 468 pounds of food collected during the first food drive conducted by Holo Holo Charters, represented by Breeze Kaleimamahu, Chrystie Vasquez, Pililani Alaibilla, Hi‘ilei Alaibilla, Mel Willis, Megan Coscarella, Andra Rayne and Shannon Daliva, not in that order, Wednesday in Port Allen.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Koloa School second- and fourth-grade students get a glimpse of the 239 pounds of food collected for the Kauai Independent Food Bank Monday on campus, while a pleased Kelvin Moniz, left, KIFB executive director, beams.

LIHUE — Elsie Wilcox Elementary School was buzzing with excitement Friday as students collected cartloads of food from classrooms and sorted the collection for loading onto Kauai Independent Food Bank trucks.

“This feels just like Christmas,” one young student chirped with his cart filled to overflowing.

“No, it feels like I’m in a store,” another said while waiting to get into the central collecting area.

The school’s student council, representing grades three through five, finished their work with 1,368 pounds of food added to KIFB’s holiday food and fund drive total. The drive runs through Dec. 31.

The school was just one KIFB stop during last week’s collection. The amount of food totaled 3,383 pounds, and the monetary amount was $1,395.

Kamehameha Schools also collected 338 pounds, Koloa School came up with 239 pounds, and Aloha School Early Learning Center in Hanalei collected 235 pounds.

Holo Holo Charters in Port Allen was thrilled to learn their first time at a food drive netted 468 pounds, and Wilcox Health collected $895 and 443 pounds of nonperishable foods.

The Hawaii Children’s Theatre’s “Matilda the Musical” special showing saw $500 and 292 pounds of food going to the KIFB holiday food and fund drive.

Kelvin Moniz, KIFB executive director, accompanied Rizalde Tolentino, Cora Balocan and Rudy Pagulayan to the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School pickup.

“How many of you know who gets this food?” Moniz asked students. “Yes, some of this goes to feed the homeless. Some of this goes to feeding the keiki through the after-school snack programs and the backpack programs, and a lot of it goes to feeding the kupuna. And there are the hard-working people who are working hard but still just being able to make ends meet for their families. These are people who are just a paycheck away from being homeless. They get help from this food to help make their holidays a little brighter.”

Leona Perez, KIFB programs manager, said there are several more food drives scheduled before Thanksgiving and the Black Friday weekend.

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

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