LIHU‘E — When Todd Burns, representing the National Automotive Parts Association/Pacific Service &Development ‘ohana on Kaua‘i, presented Chyenne Beach and Wes Perreira of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch its contribution of funds and collected food items Thursday, the contribution was welcomed with great appreciation.
“This is going to help us,” said Perreira, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch manager. “I only recently reported that we are in a position where we can use the help from the community.”
The NAPA/PS&D award came to $25,000 and several cartons of food collected by staff.
In an effort to continue providing food assistance to Kaua‘i residents, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch is asking community members for emergency food donations, states a release from the Hawai‘i Foodbank.
The Kaua‘i warehouse has about an eight-day supply of food.
“We’re working to find something,” said Beach, the community-development specialist for the foodbank. “We’re going to join the St. Raphael Church’s monthly distribution next Thursday.”
Perreira said the demand for food is increasing through requests on the organization’s website and social-media pages.
“People are coming forward with requests for ‘Where can I go to get food?’” he said. “This is not just because it’s the holidays when food demand rises. We are in the COVID-19 pandemic where we have record numbers of people who became unemployed.”
The recent approval by Gov. David Ige of Mayor Derek Kawakami’s request to opt out of the state’s Safe Travels testing program aggravated the problem with the announcement by several resorts of closures after only recently reopening.
“While our inventory is not ideal, we are not in danger of not responding to the community’s needs,” Perreira said. “That said, we could use a boost of food donations from those who may have the resources to donate during the holiday season.”
Individuals and organizations wishing to help can do so online through the foodbank’s website at hawaiifoodbank.org/kauai/.
Another option is to participate in the Hunger Bags program being offered at the Safeway stores in Hokulei Village Shopping Center in Puhi and Kaua‘i Village in Waipouli. This is available through Dec. 29.
The Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch has distributed 1,710,706 pounds of food since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, states the Wednesday release.
“We have been managing to get the food pantries taken care of in addition to providing emergency assistance to an unprecedented number of island residents affected by the COVID-19 crisis,” Perreira said.
“This has taken a toll on our inventory. Ideally, we would like to see a food stockpile of 20 days. We’re down to just eight days’ food. We humbly ask the community to give what they can.”