KAPA‘A — More than 500 families were taken care of with food packages Thursday when the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch hosted its Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana pop-up food distribution at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex.
“This is a sold-out event,” said Chyenne Beach of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch. “Not only is it completely filled, it sold out early Monday for this Thursday distribution.”
The food distribution unfolded with its corps of volunteers, including Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch Advisory Board Member Charlie King, following a bout with the early-morning wind and rain.
“You missed the drama,” said a pickleball player from the adjoining tennis courts. “I felt sorry for them, all that wind collapsing everything and the rains coming. I went to lend them my rain jacket. And after I found out what was going on, I would’ve stayed to help, too. But I didn’t want to mess with those aunties.”
Cars filled the parking area well ahead of the start time, as volunteer Robert Ibia cued the vehicles to flow through the six distribution points for no-contact, drive-thru pickup.
“I’m not going anywhere,” said Ibia, who has been volunteering with traffic control since the start of the Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana distributions in late September. “Besides, I’m having fun. I like doing this.”
Clarissa Emayo, a volunteer from Holy Cross Church, said the people going through the Thursday pickup were going to get a lot of good food.
“We have eight pieces,” Emayo said. “They’ve got the aloha box that contains ground beef, chicken, sweet bread and vegetables. And, on top of that, they’ve got Keoki’s Kalua (pork). They’ve also got milk, eggs, a case of saimin and juice. Try to see how much all of this costs at the supermarket, They’re eating good.”
Emayo said her Holy Cross Church is also hosting its monthly food distribution on Tuesday from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Kalaheo church.
“If you’re coming, you might want to come early,” she said. “The last time, there were so many cars we had to start early.”
Michelle Panoke, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch office manager, said the Thursday pop-up event brings the Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana total to more than 94,000 pounds of food being moved out, with one more event on the calendar.
The final Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana pop-up food distribution will take place Friday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon at Vidinha Stadium.
Beach suggested that people register early because there are just 700 slots available for this series’ final pop-up event.
To register, visit hawaiifoodbank.org/kauai-pop-up.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.