The volunteer from Calvary Chapel threw up her arms Friday as the heavens opened up with an afternoon deluge at the Lihu‘e church while walk-up clients waited safety under the walkway eaves.
The Rev. Bruce Baumgartner and volunteers from Calvary Chapel joined forces with Kaua‘i Police Deparatment Chief Todd G. Raybuck and other officers to host a series of three food distributions under the Faith &Blue Initiative, the one with Raybuck taking place in Lihu‘e.
“This is the first time we’re doing this,” the volunteer said, concerned about the food packages and volunteers getting wet from the passing heavy showers.
Volunteers from Calvary Chapel prepared more than 50 packages of nonperishable food, rice and other dry goods like hygenic products, and quickly took care of the walk-ups while keeping the drive-thru motorists flowing through the wet parking lot.
“Our police department is lucky to have such a positive relationship with our community, and to not have to deal with some of the issues the rest of the country is faced with,” Raybuck said, remembering the positive experiences KPD enjoyed with Pastor John Cabello, Rhonda Cabello and the ‘ohana from New Hope Lihu‘e during the Police, Pastors and Platters program that took place earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We can always do better, and we can always be more open and willing to connect with the public. We thought this event, a food distribution, would be the perfect platform to connect, especially given the challenges our community is faced with.”
Other distribution sites Friday afternoon included Waipouli Town Center and Holy Cross Church in Kalaheo, where the Rev. Danny Igala said volunteers led by Donna Miller packed nearly 250 packages of food.
“These ladies are fantastic,” said Clayton Sui of Prison Ministries. “They had short notice but turned on a dime to pack all these packages for people driving by.”
The efforts at both the Lihu‘e and Kalaheo locations were enhanced by the arrival of Tisha Ruiz and Melissa Ragasa of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch, which helped provide some of the food.
“This is a special distribution,” Igaya said. “Holy Cross hosts a food distribution once a month on the first Friday. We just did our October distribution last week where we sent out more than a hundred food packages.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org