The clear Saturday morning was appropriate for the food distribution hosted by the New Hope Lihu‘e at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center.
“Look to the hills,” said New Hope Lihu‘e senior pastor the Rev. John Cabello, referring to the crisp hillsides of the Ha‘upu mountain ridgeline. “Help is on the way.”
That help came in the form of more than 200 food packages that were distributed by New Hope Lihu‘e volunteers with the help of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, which has been partnering with New Hope Lihu‘e from the early days of the Police, Pastors &Platters program that was centered at the Puakea Golf Course.
“We didn’t know if people would come,” said Rhonda Cabello. “This is the first one we’re doing after the church at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center reopened, and we have the help of the Kaua‘i Police Department with traffic control on the Veterans Memorial Highway.”
And the people came.
“They were here when I came at 6:30 this morning,” John Cabello said. “We had to open as soon as we could to prevent the traffic from backing up and the people from spending too much time in the hot sun.”
Food packages distributed included a snack bag containing chips, saimin, a family-sized can of soup and other goodies, a bag of groceries, eggs, and two pounds of hamburger sufficient to create family-style meals.
Additionally, Rhonda Cabello added gift cards that were purchased by New Hope Lihu‘e from several of the smaller local businesses, including Wailua Shave Ice, which provided their share of gift cards entirely by donation.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Rhonda Cabello said. “We also got a match from Aloha Leige Waffles &Espresso. We bought some cards and they matched what we bought. These are the kind of businesses we want people to know about and support. They support the community.”
Other firms included in the Saturday distribution included Rainbeau Jo’s and Aloha ‘Aina Juice Company.
“What about the volunteers?” Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank wanted to know.
“I could’ve gotten help from the Lions Clubs or the Zonta Club, but the New Hope Lihu‘e has so many volunteers, the others would’ve been getting underfoot. Some of these people were out in Anahola helping too,” he said about last week’s distribution on state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property.
”Many of them are unemployed and need help themselves.”
With the food distribution sold out within a few minutes of its originally-scheduled start time, John Cabello said New Hope Lihu‘e will plan on hosting another distribution in September, with the package count increasing to perhaps 250.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.