More than volunteers help distribution

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, left, accepts 500 pounds of hamburger from the Wailua Meat Company, represented by, from left, Breana Po‘ai holding Trysten, Kiaree Pereira, Roy Nishida and Willy Sanchez, while the KIFB’s Rudy Pagulayan shoots the shaka, third from right, Friday morning at the KIFB Nawiliwili warehouse.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    From left, Julie Gardner and Jo Evans of Fotos4Food drop off their weekly contributions to Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank Friday at the KIFB Nawiliwili warehouse.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Volunteers load food into the back of a pickup truck Friday during The Shops at Kukui‘ula food distribution, where more than 250 food packages were passed out in a contact-less, drive-thru format.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Johnny Gordines, president of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau, in gray shirt, is among the volunteers loading people’s cars with food packages Friday during the Shops at Kukui‘ula food distribution.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Russlyn Morita of the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort, left, and Sandi Sterker of the Koloa Lions Club are among the volunteers loading food into cars Friday during the Shops at Kukui‘ula food distribution.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Volunteers get together for a final briefing before cars are released Friday during the Shops at Kukui‘ula food distribution.

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.”

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

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