Food banks get year-end kokua

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kelvin Moniz, the executive director of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, second from left, accepts a $3,500 contribution from Kukui Grove Center, represented by, far left, Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, David Sosner, second from right, and Maria Tomas, right, Monday at the mall’s Pau Hana Market.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Keith Ruiz, Hoku Ka‘auwai and Noreen Bardago of Spectrum present the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch with 440 pounds of food collected during an in-house food drive by Spectrum. From left are Tish Ruiz, Chyenne Beach of the foodbank, the Spectrum crew, and Wes Perreira and Melissa Ragasa of the foodbank.

LIHU‘E — Contributions from the community are welcomed and appreciated by both food banks — the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch and the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank — during this yearend when the food banks work toward balancing the strong need for food and available resources.

Friday, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch interrupted its string of food distributions to accept 440 pounds of food, including several bags of rice, from the Spectrum ‘ohana via its in-house food drive.

Rice is probably the most-sought-after commodity for food banks, and Wes Perreira of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch silently smiled his appreciation at having the quantity of rice being included with the Spectrum food drive.

Earlier in the week, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch teamed with St. Raphael Church to distribute 8,851 pounds of food to over 350 families.

Last week, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch teamed with Child &Family Service for the Festival of Hope for Families distribution in Anahola that was budgeted for approximately 250 families.

Thursday, Dec. 17, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch is anticipating taking care of nearly 200 households when it leads the distribution for employees of the Koloa Landing Resort. It wraps up the week with a food distribution at the Kaua‘i Philippine Cultural Center in Puhi, with a budget of 350 households.

“We also have the Park n’ Watch Holiday Movie Marathon at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall, where we partnered with the Rice Street Business Association,” said Chyenne Beach of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch.

“Entry to the movie is free, although donations to the food bank are appreciated. People may also bring a receipt from any Rice Street business dated the movie date. Saturday’s movie is the ‘Polar Express,’ and on Dec. 26, ‘The Grinch’ is on the screen. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the movie starting at 6:30 p.m. The event is supported by the Rice Street Business Association, The Specific Chiropractic and Corteva Agriscience.”

Kukui Grove Center added excitement to its recently-launched Pau Hana Market by showing up with an oversized, $3,500 contribution to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank Monday.

“We talked about doing the contribution a while ago,” said David Sosner, KGC general manager. “But we figured the end of the year was when the contribution would have the greatest impact.”

Kelvin Moniz, the KIFB executive director, could not agree more.

“We have shopped the farmers’ market and the farmers for product we used during our recent series of food drives for the community and the visitor-industry resorts and its employees,” Moniz said. “With the holidays here and the people having to deal with the pandemic, there is an ever-increasing demand for food. We will use these funds to continue and support our farming community.”

The KIFB is partnering with the Contractors Association of Kaua‘i for a special distribution to home-bound residents this Saturday, Dec. 19.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or


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