Kaua‘i’s food banks get help from the community

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Socially-distanced, the Waimea High School Class of 2021 officers, including class president Braelyn Cayaban, class treasurer Vito Altomare, Class KDSC Rep. Larissa Kobayashi, Food Drive Coordinator Kylan Constantino, event coordinators Ashlyn Agena and Cailin Pasion, and the class advisor Heather Kidd turn over more than 90 pounds of food to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, represented by Rizalde Tolentino, Feifei Gao, and Leona Perez, Monday morning.

LIHU‘E — The Waimea High School Class of 2021 dropped off more than 90 pounds of food collected during the class’ Senior Drive-In Movie Night to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank Monday morning.

“We just wanted to do something to help our community,” said Braelyn Cayaban, the class president. “The Seniors came up with the idea of the Drive-In Movie Night to get a chance to spend time with their classmates while observing social distancing rules and guidelines. We tagged the food drive to this event that was held just ahead of Thanksgiving.”

The drive-in movie was also the Senior Parent Meeting and featured pre-ordered meal purchases, baked goods, popcorn and soft drinks for sale with proceeds benefiting the Waimea Project Grad 2021.

Class officers and leaders accompanied the food drop off to get an idea of what happens to the donation, arriving in time to watch volunteers check in to pack for the Mahalo, Kaua‘i Merry Christmas Food Distribution that will take place, Tuesday starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Vidinha Stadium parking lot.

Presented by the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association in partnership with the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, the Safeway store in Hokulei Village, and Rancher’s Daughter’s Reserve, the event is planning to take care of 450 families.

The Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kaua‘i Branch will be working with the manager of the Kaua‘i Shores hotel at the same time, taking care of the hotel’s employees with food packages after the hotel closed down following the latest travel rules.

The holidays are a time of giving, but they are also a time of great needs, states a press release from Sayre PR announcing the contribution of $12 million from the Walmart Foundation to the Feeding America program over two years.

“We are humbled and honored to support our local hunger-relief organizations like the Hawai‘i Foodbank,” said Lance McAlister, the Hawai‘i Market Manager for Walmart. “In further support, the Ke‘eaumoku Walmart is donating 500 frozen turkeys to the Hawai‘i Foodbank in hopes that more families in need are assisted this holiday season.”

Food security continues plaguing families and individuals across the country with an estimated 1 in 6 people at risk of hunger because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This compares to a pre-pandemic number of 1 in 9 people struggling with food insecurity, according to numbers from the Feeding America program.

“Hawai‘i Foodbank is extremely grateful for this incredibly generous donation,” said Ron Mizutani, president and CEO of Hawai‘i Foodbank. “This gift comes at such an important time of the year and will be much appreciated by families experiencing unprecedented challenges. We are thankful for our long partnership with Walmart, and value the trust they have for the mission we serve.”

Walmart in Hawai‘i donated more than 1.2 million pounds of food to local food banks.

To date, more than 5,000 hunger-relief organizations in the United States have received support from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation through the donation of 480 million pounds of food and more than $55 million in grants for hunger relief. Walmart customers, Sam’s Club members, and suppliers have raised and contributed nearly $18 million to complement the efforts for hunger relief.


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

  1. I saw a Vampire once December 22, 2020 8:55 am Reply

    Waimea High School. Where did you collect the foods from? The community needs it. I wonder who donated. I don’t see a need to help out. Because it seems like they’re regular workers there are paid to do a job. If not, full time helpers there. It seems to me everyone wants a piece of graduation. Billy Decosta from Waimea High School, Bernard P. Carvalho jr, of Kapa’a High School. I’m not complaining, but I saw these men in politics as food drive helpers already. Judging from their background.

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