LIHU‘E — Helena Cooney always wanted more hands-on volunteerism, and on Thursday was inducted as the newest member of the East Kaua‘i Lions Club between activities surrounding the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort &Beach Club meal and food distribution for more than 300 of its furloughed associates.
“We couldn’t do this without our volunteers,” said Kelvin Moniz, executive director of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank and a past district governor with the Lions International Hawai‘i District.
“‘We are fortunate to be able and call on the groups like the EK Lions, the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i, and the (state Department of Health) Kaua‘i District Health Office and others to help during these distributions. There is no way events like this could take place successfully without the volunteers.”
Teams from the EK Lions Club, the Zonta of Kaua‘i, the KQNG Radio Group, Hawai‘i Lodging &Tourism Association Kaua‘i branch and the Kaua‘i District Health Office joined Team Marriott volunteers to distribute more than 1,400 meals nd food packages prepared by the Kaua‘i Marriott culinary team.
Edie Ignacio-Neumiller of the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i celebrated her birthday between the activity of assembling the food packages, pausing for social-media photos and having the birthday anthem sung to her as part of the cheering for accomplishing the task of packaging.
The associates who arrived in two shifts were treated to meals prepared by chef Guy Higa and included what Moniz described as “gourmet chili and hot dogs and corn.” The food packages included five pounds of chicken, sliced turkey, mixed vegetables, a bag of Okinawa sweet potatoes, cereal, milk, bread, cans of soup and pasta.
Moniz said the distribution was covered through a grant from the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, and the Kaua‘i District Health Office team was pressed into action getting additional grant information from food recipients.
Moniz said the KIFB is involved in several major distributions for the remainder of the month, including one for the Kaua‘i Coffee Company employees next week. Other distributions include The Point at Po‘ipu, the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa, the New Hope Lihu‘e, and another Kaumakani food distribution through the efforts of Kaua‘i football officials.