KIFB spring food drive kicks off

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Deja Vu Surf Hawaii, Kukui Grove associates Nelson Acosta, Tialei Agustin and Akime Dizol need help filling the food-collection containers s they launch their food drive that runs through April 30.

LIHU‘E — “We only have Vienna sausage,” said Nelson Acosta, one of the associates at Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i at Kukui Grove Center.

“We need help filling the bins.”

Acosta was taking out the collection bins earlier this week for the food drive being conducted by the store, marking the opening the drive coinciding with the launch of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank Spring Food and Fund Drive.

Kelvin Moniz, KIFB executive director, said Deja Vu is one of the sponsors of the Spring Food Drive that has set goals of 45,000 pounds of food collected, and $45,000 to help fuel its programs of feeding people who need help.

Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i will maintain the collections through April 30 at all three of its stores — Kapa‘a, Kukui Grove and The Shops at Kuku‘iula in Po‘ipu.

“We want to thank the community for all their support through the many generations of Deja Vu,” said Jenny Ihara-Takase, part of the management at Kukui Grove. “This is a nice way of giving back to help those who need help, and a nice way to thank the community for their support all these years.”

She added that for those who do not have canned goods or nonperishable food handy, there is a collection bowl that accepts “a little change (that) can make a big change.”

The proceeds from the collection bowl go to support KIFB’s mission of educating, providing nutritious food to the hungry and responding to emergencies.

Moniz said in addition to the support from Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i, he has received word that the state Department of Education, Macy’s, Kaua‘i Shores, and The Cliffs at Princeville have indicated their support of food drives to help the Spring Food and Fund Drive.

The Kaua‘i Board of Realtors, recently committing to funding a new program of helping families that are “a paycheck away from homeless,” was also in the KIFB offices, looking for further opportunities to help.

Moniz said the organization is looking to possibly volunteer to help at the Nawiliwili warehouse in packing for the backpack program, where students in school receive food to help carry them through the weekends.

“There is nothing better than seeing first-hand the impact of giving,” said Realtor Donna King. “We want people to experience why they help.”

The KIFB services individuals, families in need and charitable organizations through its distribution programs that include the Keiki Cafe after-school snack program, the Keiki Backpack, and the Kupa‘a Kupuna shopping programs. It also maintains the Ono Mea Ai food pantry program at Kaua‘i Community College.

Donations to the KIFB Spring Food and Fund Drive can be dropped off at any of the island’s fire stations as well as at the KIFB warehouse in Nawiliwili.

Info: 246-3809

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

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