LIHU‘E — Russell Haluapo would have stomped off, muttering something, said Larry Feinstein during the food drive remembering Haluapo and benefiting the Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kaua‘i Branch.
“You know Russell,” Feinstein said while awaiting the arrival of more motorcycle riders at the historic County Building. “That’s how he would do it — walking off, muttering, and stopping to talk story with other riders.”
Motorcycle riders representing the various motorcycle groups gathered on the clear Sunday morning to put together a collection of 300 pounds of food and $395 in money to benefit the Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kaua‘i Branch.
“I don’t know,” Feinstein said. “After Russell passed, the motorcycle guys decided they would just get together once a month to do a food drive. That’s how Russell would have done it…ah, yeah we’re going to do a food drive.”
Feinstein said this food drive ride is not the memorial ride. There is a memorial ride that will take place some time in August.
Panoke said the receipts of the Sunday drive will help with food relief efforts from the COVID-19.
The pandemic disrupted some of the normal food relief programs like the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program where qualifying kupuna receive $5 voucher booklets amounting to $50. These vouchers can be redeemed at participating farmers market vendors (indicated by the signage they display) for fresh fruits and vegetables.
The SFMNP is presented in partnership with the state’s Office of Community Service and the USDA/Food and Nutrition Service.
Vouchers for this year’s program started becoming eligible April 1, at the height of the COVID-19 stay-at-home regulations, and the resulting closure of the sites where farmers markets were available. This prevented voucher holders to redeem their coupons.
“I’m going to get clarification on this program,” Panoke said. “We need to get farmers to become visible as SFMNP participants, and kupuna have until Sept. 30 to redeem their vouchers.”