OnoPops helps in the emergency

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, left, and Greg Askew of OnoPops, figure out how to move the 20-cubic-foot freezer out of the OnoPops certified kitchen Thursday morning at the OnoPops facility in Hanama‘ulu.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Greg Askew of OnoPops, left, present Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank with 200 OnoPops and a 20-cubit foot chest freezer Thursday at the OnoPops certified kitchen in Hanama‘ulu.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank catches up with Tina Abben, landlord of the Hanama‘ulu post office building, Thursday following the contribution by OnoPops to the food bank.

HANAMA‘ULU — Greg Askew, president of OnoPops Gourmet Popsicles, is no stranger to helping the community.

Kelvin Moniz, executive director of the Kaua‘i Indendent Food Bank, was enjoying an OnoPop Thursday while waiting on the arrival of the KIFB truck.

“This is a new way of having popsicle,” Moniz said, savoring the cold treat created from locally grown fresh fruit while negotiating the treat under his fabric face mask, a required piece of clothing to be in compliance with the mayor’s emergency rules. “How can you refuse a treat like this when the weather is so hot?”

Askew and OnoPops donated a 20-cubic-foot chest freezer and a load of 200 OnoPops to the KIFB for use during the emergency food distributions taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The gesture was sweetened when Tina Abben, OnoPops’ landlord, chipped in with a personal financial contribution after watching the gentlemen load the chest freezer.

“At first, I thought he was just going to loan us the freezer,” Moniz said. “We definitely can use the freezer to accommodate the meat that we get for distribution. We are so grateful to get this new addition to our facility. And, the OnoPops? That is an added treat for all those people who come for their emergency food.”

OnoPops has been helping with these delicious treats by distributing 500 OnoPops to both Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital and Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital during the past week.

“This was special,” Askew said. “It was for each of the people who work at the hospitals, a special treat for all the work they’re doing to keep us safe during this COVID-19.”

OnoPops was ready for spring break when the public health emergency struck.

“We were producing for the spring break,” Askew said. “We had purchased new equipment that increased the number of OnoPops we could make. We had equipment on line since January when COVID-19 hit. That left us with some 4,000 OnoPops.”

The public-health emergency shut down OnoPops’ appearances at the farmers’ markets and other public events around the island, leaving Askew and Candace Boxer a void that was only teased by the orders from their regular stable of retailers.

“We still do OnoPops no-touch delivery service,” Askew said. “Those interested in getting or giving OnoPops can call or text at (808) 236-6565 for credit-card sales (and a 15-pop minimum for delivery), or email at GregAskew2@gmail.com, or DM on Instagram at OnoPops_Kauai.”

Askew said OnoPops will respond with the flavors, currently listed at 30, arrange for credit-card payment, and schedule delivery accordingly.

Many of the OnoPop flavors are high in Vitamin C, gluten-free, and low in sugar, with a number of vegan and no-added-sugar flavors available. All are created by Kaua‘i residents in OnoPops’ certified kitchen using local and organic ingredients.

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

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