PUHI — The Salvation Army on Kaua‘i is planning to serve up 800 free Thanksgiving meals today starting at 11 a.m. at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.
Meals will be available either grab-and-go or drive-thru, with COVID-19 safety and health guidelines, including the wearing of face masks and social distancing. There will be no dine-in accommodations.
The Salvation Army Lihu‘e Corps is getting help from the Hawai‘i Foodbbank Kaua‘i Branch, the Lions Club, The Salvation Army advisory board as well as Kaua‘i Community College, and Gaylord’s at Kilohana restaurant that is still closed due to the pandemic.
“We’re still waiting for the tourists,” said Dannlyn Kanahele, a Lu‘au Kalamaku staff member, Tuesday while the Gaylord’s/Lu‘au Kalamaku crew shredded turkeys to fuel the meals. “We’re heavily dependent on the cruise ships, and we don’t know when they’ll start returning. In the meantime, we do this to give back to the community.”
Deuce Pettibone was one of the Gaylord’s restaurant members helping with the turkey preparation, an effort described by chef Johnny Saguid as “Turkey time.”
“Fred Atkins has been helping The Salvation Army for a long time,” Pettibone said, gathering the stripped bones to prepare the gravy. “I only started doing this recently. Fred started helping way before I came. I like doing this because the people who will enjoy the meal can really use the help. I know. I was one of them.”
The Salvation Army Hanapepe Corps will start offering its free Thanksgiving meals from noon, with the option of either a grab-and-go or drive-thru service. The Hanapepe Corps gets the help of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa in preparing its meal service.
“With the generous help of corporate partners, volunteers, advisory boards, staff and The Salvation Army officers, we have been able to shift our traditional Thanksgiving observances around the state to reach thousands of those in need in our island communities in new ways,” said Maj. Jeff Martin, the divisional leader for The Salvation Army Hawaiian &Pacific Islands.
“We humbly ask the community for their continued support and encourage those in need of a meal to reach out to the Salvation Army Corps in their local community.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.