St. Raphael Church sends out more than food

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Blu Ulanday and Charlie Raco close off cooking shoyu chicken for 300 plates Thursday during the St. Raphael Church monthly food distribution in Koloa.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Sissy Kahale and Lonnie Oketani load groceries into the back of a patron’s pickup truck Thursday during the St. Raphael Church monthly food distribution in Koloa.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    An angel at St. Raphael Church in Koloa stands watch as Pualilia Kahale readies for the next car in line Thursday during the Koloa church’s monthly food distribution.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Julie Souza, left, leads the doxology that closes the prayer led by the Rev. Arlan Intal Thursday during the St. Raphael Church monthly food distribution in Koloa.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    An angel stands watch as Robert Ibia loads a bag of snacks into a patron’s vehicle Thursday during the St. Raphael Church monthly food distribution in Koloa.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Makana Duncan grabs an extra water to go with the shoyu chicken plate Thursday during the St. Raphael Church monthly food distribution in Kolo.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Department of Health’s Duquessa Padamada and Bianca Gill help Tina Brun with traffic control Thursday during the St. Raphael Church monthly food distribution in Koloa.

Paul Brun took a day off from work to help his mother, Tina Brun of St. Raphael Church with the food distribution Thursday.

“Did he tell you he took off from work to help?” asked Tina Brun, the St. Raphael Church food pantry coordinator.

“Today we’re passing out more than 150 packages, and Charlie Raco and Blu Ulanday are doing shoyu chicken for up to 300 plates.”

The aroma of the cooking chicken teased the nose of the Rev. Arlan Intal, church pastor, who led the prayer ahead of releasing the line of cars that snaked down Hapa Road for a portion of the food being distributed with the help of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch.

“This is like the old days when everybody would get together to cook,” Raco said, the personal touch joining the extra touch to the meal that included chicken, pancit, rice and a cup of fruit.

“Blu’s grandson is in Missouri playing football, and he has to help at the restaurant where the grandson’s parents will be quarantining following the trip. We have mana‘o that goes into every plate.”

The state Department of Health also showed its face for the distribution, with outreach workers Bianca Gill and Duquessa Padamada helping to direct traffic from Hapa Road into the church’s drive-thru.

“Holo holo,” Gill said. “I like holo holo. This is our first time helping. Pua Kaohelauli‘i’s already been out, so we thought we’d better get going. We’ll be helping with the Anahola distribution by the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank as well.”

Those human touches and the prayer that overflowed the pre-release of traffic only helped to flavor the food being given out. Food packages included a snacks bag containing cookies, cup noodles, and other snacking items topped with a bag of Maui potato chips, a bag of assorted groceries, frozen chicken and sausage, rice, eggs and, of course, the plate lunch.

“People wanted me to do this at least twice a month,” Tina Brun said. “They said we don’t have any food giveaway programs on the South Shore.”

A hospital worker jogging past the line of cars said he was not aware of the need for food.

“I work a lot as an essential worker,” he said. “I got the day off today. When I ran past the cars, I thought it was a funeral at first. But this makes a lot of sense. People need food.”

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