PO‘IPU — Stacie Chiba-Miguel, senior property manager at The Shops at Kukui‘ula, said the food giveaway was made possible by more than just the volunteers, Friday at the mauka parking lot of the Po‘ipu shopping center.
“This is the first one we’re doing in the Koloa town,” Chiba-Miguel said. “We need the volunteers, but people need to know that this is big; the sponsors, and everything else. This is special.”
Sponsors for the Friday meal and food giveaway included the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, the Hawai‘i Lodging &Tourism Association Kaua‘i branch and The Shops at Kukui‘ula that provided the venue for the drive-thru, contact-less distribution that included an ahi salad prepared by chef Michael Young and the culinary crew from the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort in Po‘ipu.
“We have volunteers coming from the HLTA, too,” said Kelvin Moniz, KIFB executive director.
“In addition to the HLTA people, we have the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i, the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau leadership, and the West Kaua‘i Lions Club, the Kaua‘i Lions Club, Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort, the Boy Scouts from Troop 148 and more,” said Moniz.
The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i has a goal of raising $3,000 for the KIFB and its efforts at providing food for the island’s people during this novel coronavirus pandemic. The funds will be turned over to Fotos4Food when the club has its photo taken by Jo Evans and Julie Gardner, who stopped by the KIFB with their weekly contributions.
“They (Jo and Julie) needed to come early,” Moniz said. “I told them we were going to be doing this distribution, and Jo offered to come do photos like when she did the Kaumakani distribution last week.”
Moniz also accepted a load of 500 pounds of frozen hamburger provided as a donation by Willy Sanchez and the Wailua Meat Company for the distribution in Po‘ipu. Breana Po‘ai, one of the Wailua Meat Company’s leadership team members, said that, since the start of the COVID-19, they have contributed about 3,000 pounds of meat for food relief.
Cars lined the Kukui‘ula parking lot early, and Moniz and Chiba-Miguel released the line to keep the mall entrance from clogging.
“Look at this,” Chiba-Miguel said. “It’s more than an hour before the start time and people are already here. This shows the need for food as people struggle through this pandemic. We’ll get rid of all the 250 packages.”
Dana Garven was one of the KIFB staff members helping at the distribution that snaked onto the Ala Kalanikaumaka.
“I was just given a temporary position Monday,” said Garven, who has been struggling for employment since the Big Kmart closed in 2018. “My family started getting their layoff notices, so I thought I would take this. It’s better than nothing.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.