HANAMA‘ULU — There was more than food being passed out Saturday when the East Kaua‘i Lions Club partnered with the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank to hand out more than 400 family packages during the King Kaumuali‘i Elementary School food distribution.
In addition to being the first food distribution geared toward an individual school’s population, including its teachers, staff and students’ families, the East Kaua‘i Lions Club gave several gifts of benevolence, including the presentation of a $1,000 award from the Hawai‘i Lions Foundation, and the donation of 400 pounds of ground beef valued at more than $2,000 from William Sanchez and the Wailua Meat Co. to the KIFB for the distribution.
Audiologists Dane and Robin Wielins of Island Audiology also received a financial contribution that was sufficient to replace a non-functional hearing aid for Jack Mentz that was presented earlier in the year by the EK Lions Club.
“This is more than a replacement hearing aid for Jack,” said Sherrie Orr, Mentz’s sister. “This partnership with Island Audiology and the EK Lions Club can assist other people with hearing difficulties and problems.”
On realizing the former hearing aid was non-functional, the Wielins family worked with Resound, a hearing-aid manufacturer who provided a replacement aid at a deep discount.
“This represents Resound’s commitment to supporting people hear better,” Dane Wielins said. “We need the EK Lions to find those who need help, and Resound will extend the same benefits. We need their help to help those who need the help.”
Wielins said of people 65 years and older, 35% have some form of treatable hearing loss.
“And, of that 35%, only one in five people get the treatment they need to hear better,” Wielins said. “That means there are a lot of people out there that can use the help.”
The volunteer staff from KKES formed the primary contact with the line of cars anxious to get the food packages being distributed via a special school coupon for each family. That provided an opportunity to remind parents to fill out the online survey for the upcoming fourth quarter of the school year.
Food packages included the donated ground beef, bread, eggs, saimin, and an assortment of canned foods topped with a special science, technology, engineering and mathematics packet containing activities for the upcoming spring break.
Erica Kubota was one of the KKES teachers volunteering. She brought along her son Liloa, who helped man the traffic signs governing the flow of cars through the drive-thru, no-contact, food-package pickup.
“I just want him to start learning about giving back,” Kubota said.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.