Realtors present $10,000 for Virtual Food Box program

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank treasurer Georgeatte Cayaban, left, and Kelvin Moniz, the KIFB executive direcgtor, accepts a $10,000 award from Karen Ono of the Kaua‘i Board of Realtors, Wednesday for the Virtual Food Box program that will be implemented “as needed” by the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank.

LIHU‘E — The Virtual Food Box program is not for people directly impacted by the current pandemic, said Kelvin Moniz, the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank executive director who accepted a $10,000 award from the Kaua‘i Board of Realtors, Wednesday.

Karen Ono, representing the Kaua‘i Board of Realtors, said the funds were a result of an in-house drive and will cover the costs of the Virtual Food Box program that was started last year by the Kaua‘i Board of Realtors in partnership with the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank.

Under the program’s terms, when a family is found in need by realtors who are very visible in the community, the KIFB is notified and a box of food to care for the family is created. The food box is then picked up by the realtor who delivers the box to the family, effectively preserving the family’s integrity.

“This is not for families that are directly impacted by COVID-19,” Moniz said. “There are programs for people who have been affected by the pandemic. This Virtual Food Box program takes care of those who normally fall through the cracks. The eyes and ears are the realtors — not necessarily agencies — who are connected to the community.”

Money that would be used to secure food for the family is then made available to pay the rent or utility bills.

The program is on an “as needed” basis with the food bank reacting to create food boxes when they are notified of the need by realtors.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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