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Donations beef up food distributions

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch’s Chyenne Beach and Tish Ruiz pack food bags Thursday during the Koloa Landing employees food distribution.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Koloa Landing Resort General Manager Andy Evers loads bread into one of the resort employees’ cars Thursday during the Koloa Landing employees food distribution.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Andy Evers, the Koloa Landing Resort general manager, center, works to unload cases of ‘Aina Ho‘okupu‘u produce Thursday as Tish Ruiz of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch gets a closer look at the produce during the Koloa Landing employees’ food distribution.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Volunteers with age- and gender-appropriate presents wait for cars to move through the Kekaha Landfill’s Christmas Drive-Thru Wednesday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Santa surveys the course fronting the decorated office of the Kekaha Landfill Wednesday during the Kekaha Landfill’s Christmas Drive-Thru.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Rain doesn’t dampen Santa’s “Ho! Ho! Ho!” as he is illuminated by a car at the Kekaha Landfill Christmas Drive-Thru Wednesday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Volunteers scramble to protect wrapped gifts from the rain Wednesday during the Kekaha Landfill’s Christmas Drive-Thru.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A volunteer with the Kekaha School PTSA passes a bag of produce to a car at the Kekaha Landfill’s Christmas Drive-Thru Wednesday night.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Volunteers, including County Councilmember Billy DeCosta, left, take time to greet a family at the Kekaha Landfill’s Christmas Drive-Thru Wednesday.

KEKAHA — There was five minutes remaining until gates closed on the Kekaha Landfill’s Christmas Drive-Thru Wednesday, but the line of cars waiting to enter the landfill stretched beyond eyesight toward Polihale.

“I don’t know,” said a worker from the Kekaha Landfill. “We’re supposed to close the gates. I feel sorry for those people waiting in line, but I guess you have to do what you have to do. Maybe we’ll stay later.”

Hundreds of families took advantage of the Kekaha Landfill ‘ohana event, led by John Ruiz, to lay claim to a share of the food, fresh produce, bags of rice, cases of saimin, and age- and gender-appropriate wrapped gifts presented under a display of lights and sounds of a decorated Kekaha Landfill office breaking up the darkness of Wednesday night in the fields.

“This is the Kekaha Landfill,” said new County Councilmember Billy DeCosta, who was volunteering alongside the landfill ‘ohana. “They not only take your rubbish, they give out presents. These are the real people who work here. They are the power.”

Ruiz, the event’s designated leader, said the men worked with a number of community agencies and organizations to make the drive-thru a possibility.

“Do you believe that this happened in the last four days?” Ruiz asked. “This is the landfill crew’s way of giving back to our Westside community that we love very much. The sponsors came through. We have a lot of things, including 450 wrapped presents for the keiki, 200 food bags from the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch, 500 bags of produce donated by E Ola Mau, and all these bags of rice and cases of saimin. The sponsors, including Garden Isle Disposal, Wa‘alani Enterprises, the Danford Ka‘eo family, West Kaua‘i Dental, Glen Yeron and many more really came through.”

For the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch, the Kekaha Landfill’s Christmas Drive-Thru was one of two big events in less than two days, the second being the Koloa Landing Resort’s employees food distribution Thursday morning.

Chyenne Beach of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch said the Kekaha Landfill event distributed more than 2,400 pounds that included peanut butter, macaroni, canned salmon, cream of mushroom soup, dried fruit mix and pistachios.

“And then there’s the rice,” Beach said. “There were 350 bags of rice.”

More rice was on the agenda for the Koloa Landing Resort employees’ distribution when the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch distributed more than 5,600 pounds of food Thursday morning.

“We never closed,” said Andy Evers, Koloa Landing Resort general manager.

“Right now, we have about 60 people working because we have owners who are full-time guests. Before the COVID-19, we had about 150 employees working, and before that, we were at around 225 employees. We have to thank the local residents for us being able to be here. When the visitors disappeared, guess who made it possible for us to keep our doors open?”

The Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch inventory was bolstered by donations of Kaua‘i Shrimp and more than 1,000 pounds of fresh produce from ‘Aina Ho‘okupu‘u in Kilauea.

“This all happened just this morning,” said Wes Perreira, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch manager.

“We knew about the donation of Kaua‘i Shrimp that is enough to stretch into Saturday’s distribution at the Kaua‘i Philippine Cultural Center. But the ‘Aina Ho‘okupu‘u donation that included onions, bananas baby bok choy, rambutan, arugula, eggplant, potato, and zucchini, just came through.”

•••

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

6 Comments
  1. Joe Public December 18, 2020 10:06 am Reply

    Billy, how about using your mask properly? You represent Kauai now, please set a positive example


    1. Hanama’ulu Ann December 19, 2020 2:09 am Reply

      Agreed, now that Mr. Decosta is in the public eye, proper mask wearing is a must, especially at the council meetings and in public.


  2. jake December 18, 2020 11:12 am Reply

    In the photo, who’s the joker with the mask hanging off his face. How many people did he infect that day?


  3. I saw a Vampire once December 18, 2020 11:33 am Reply

    Where did these donations come from? Take from the rich, give to the poorer. It is events like this that make christmas more merrier. But who donated the foods?


  4. I saw a Vampire once December 18, 2020 1:03 pm Reply

    I’m going to only say this once, so that God will know what I mean. On Kaua’i this is a religious island. They have good deeds every time. They do christian duties only in the name of a diciple. And I think this is a good event.

    “I never did think you had it when you placed sports and religion in your church. Young people playing in competitive sports should not be encouraged. This leads to idolatry. And leads to more of a wasted life. Competition and sports. This is to God. Coming from me.”


  5. Bif Fudd December 18, 2020 7:55 pm Reply

    Beef food served at the Kekaha Dump…do they have to be so blatant about it?


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