Portion of food drive set aside for COVID-19 response

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School leadership class presents 991 pounds of food to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank and KIFB Executive Director Kelvin Moniz, bck row fourth from left, Thursday on the Puhi campus.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kelvin Moniz, executive director of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, left, explains where the food from the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Leadership Class is going to, during the collection of the food at the Puhi campus Thursday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Students in the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Leadership Class pack various items for their food drive for the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank Thursday on campus.

PUHI — There was no toilet paper, paper towels or disinfectants, but that didn’t matter Thursday when the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School leadership class wrapped up its annual food drive benefiting the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank.

The drive, headed by teacher Laura Estrada, coincides with the opening of the KIFB Spring Healthy Food and Fund Drive that opened March 1 with goals of 45,000 pounds of food and $45,000. The CKMS food drive added 991 pounds toward the food goal.

Kelvin Moniz, KIFB executive director, said the food drive normally replenishes the KIFB stores that are taxed during the higher-than-normal demand during the holidays.

“This is when we catch up,” Moniz said. “We usually get food from the spring drive that allows us to keep food through the end of March.”

But that was before the advent of COVID-19.

“Part of the collection today will go to the Healthy Food and Fund Drive,” Moniz said. “Part of it will be set aside in anticipation of COVID and the anticipated consequences.”

Moniz said a lot of their programs, like the Keiki Cafe and backpack programs, will have a break because of the state Department of Education spring break.

“But things are changing rapidly,” Moniz said. “We need to be ready.”

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

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