Contributions big and small help food bank

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kelvin Moniz, executive director of the Kauai Independent Food Bank, right, talks about the family program that will launch with the initial contribution of more than $12,400 from the Kauai Board of Realtors, Thursday at the KIFB facility in Nawiliwili. From left are Rizalde Tolentino, Rowena Cobb, Karen Ono, Cyndi Ayonon, Donna King, Julian Coiner, Jennifer Sapp, Brad Nagano, Jetson White, Georgette Galicinao-Cayaban, Ammon Kakazu, and Moniz.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Carol Valentine of the Lihue Hongwanji Mission, center, and the Kauai representative to the Honpa Hongwanji Mission Social Concerns Group, present a $500 award to the Kauai Independent Food Bank, represented by Leona Perez, programs manager, left, Jennifer Sapp, development officer, second from left, Georgette Galicinao-Cayaban, board member, third from left, Kelvin Moniz, executive director, third from right, and KIFB board members Cyndi Ayonon, second from right, and Rowena Cobb, right.

NAWILIWILI — The Kauai Independent Food Bank, with the presence of its new Development Officer Jennifer Sapp, were recipients of a pair of awards Thursday morning at its Nawiliwili facility.

The Kauai Board of Realtors, arriving on the heels of the Lihue Business Association monthly meeting with its representatives — Karen Ono and president Julian Coiner — brought over a check for more than $12,400, and Carol Valentine of the Lihue Hongwanji arrived shortly after with a contribution of $500 from the Honpa Hongwanji Mission Social Concerns Group.

“This is just to help out,” Valentine said. “The Social Concerns Group help is not just limited to helping food banks, but whomever needs help. We’ve given to groups on the mainland recovering from shootings, the volcano eruption, and the floods in Hanalei.”

The KBR award is just the initial contribution after its membership of more than 600 Realtor members and affiliates were contacted.

“There’s more to come,” said Julian Coiner, KBR president. “This is just the first installment.”

Kelvin Moniz, KIFB executive director, said the Realtors’ award will establish a new program of helping families get fed.

“We’ve developed a wagon of food, opting to use locally-grown versus processed, that will feed a family of six,” Moniz said. “These are intended for families who are working but barely making it. The Realtors are our eyes for this program. They know who is out there that needs a little help. They will notify us of the need, without naming names. We process the request and prepare it for pickup by the inaugurating requestor. The load is delivered to the family that needs the help by the Realtor — we simply put a note acknowledging the source.”

The program joins the lineup of services provided by KIFB, including its after-school healthy-snacks program through the Keiki Cafe, the popular Backpack program that provides food for keiki who would otherwise go hungry during weekends, and the kupuna shopping program.

The KIFB also maintains emergency food distributions for people in immediate need, and is prepared to respond in the face of emergencies.

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

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