KAPA‘A — Donations from the East Kaua‘i Lions Club Foundation and the Honpa Hongwanji Committee on Social Concerns came flowing into the planning meeting for the annual Kapa‘a Interfaith Alliance Free Community Thanksgiving Lunch at All Saints Espiscopal Church.
The annual event is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, and presented by nine participating alliance churches: All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Happy Science, Kapa‘a First Hawaiian Church, Kapa‘a Hongwanji Mission, Kapa‘a Jodo Mission, Kapa‘a Seventh Day Adventist Church, Kapa‘a United Church of Christ, Lihu‘e Hongwanji Mission and St. Catherine Church.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected our state’s economy due to our reliance on tourism and travel,” said event co-chairs Sarah Rogers and Mary Margaret Smith.
“Many working families are faced with unemployment, loss of income, and need food and housing assistance. For these reasons, the Kapa‘a Interfaith Alliance and Mark Oyama of Contemporary Flavors Catering realize the need to provide a meal for the community to celebrate in the spirit of Thanksgiving, and express our gratitude for the many blessings we share.
“On Thanksgiving Day, the churches will come together for an interfaith service, which will be held outdoors on the All Saints Episcopal Church lawn, starting at 10:30 a.m.,” Smith said.
Following the service, a drive-thru meal pickup prepared by Mark’s Place and Contemporary Flavors Catering will take place. Mark Oyama and his staff will donate their time to prepare, deliver and assist in serving the meals for the pickup and delivery sites.
“Wendy Oyama of Mark’s Place told me, ‘We can’t let this COVID-19 thing stop Thanksgiving,’” Smith said.
Meal deliveries for those who are unable to attend the event in person will be packed and distributed at the Kapa‘a Hongwanji Mission social hall to reduce traffic at the All Saints location.
This year’s meal will be enhanced with the addition of a bag of food at both the delivery and pickup sites courtesy of the East Kaua‘i Lions Club and the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank.
Our current annual supporters include an All Saints parishioner, the Honpa Hongwanji Social Concerns Committee, the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative Sharing of Aloha, the East Kaua‘i Lions Club Foundation and the participating alliance churches.”
The interfaith Thanksgiving project started in 2003 at the Kapa‘a Hongwanji Mission, where the meals were assembled by a chef and volunteers in the church’s kitchens.