NAWILIWILI — Thursday was a day to reload for the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, which wrapped up its day with contributions totaling more than $4,000 from two organizations — Kaua‘i Coffee Company and the Kaua‘i Paramedics Association.
“We might be temporarily closed now,” said Fred Cowell of Kaua‘i Coffee, “but we’re more than a company with furloughed employees. We’re part of the community.”
Kaua‘i Coffee presented the KIFB with a check for $1,600 and 114 pounds of food. These would normally be generated by the annual Kaua‘i Coffee open house, but that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve got the visitor center open on short hours — from 9 a.m. Mondays through Fridays,” said Darla Domingo. “But we’re short-staffed so it’s best to call before coming so we can be here.”
Cowell said the visitor center hours were cut back from mid-March when the visitor count dropped because of the pandemic and its related travel restrictions. The cutback allowed Kaua‘i Coffee time to redo its merchandising and flooring because of the lower volume.
It also partnered with KIFB to host a drive-thru food distribution for its furloughed employees and surrounding community families.
“Food is one of the big concerns when people are not working,” said Kelvin Moniz said, KIFB executive director. “We’re looking at trying to do more of these drive-thrus to help out the families of workers who are still waiting to return to work.”
Errol McGowan, president of the Kaua‘i Paramedics Association, expressed similar sentiments, adding that as first responders they are familiar with help to the community provided not only by KIFB but also the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch.
“We are happy to be able to help,” McGowan said, noting that the Kaua‘i Paramedics Association membership spans the island at the American Medical Response ambulance stations.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.