LIHU‘E — The COVID-19 pandemic forced The Salvation Army to modify its annual Thanksgiving meal distribution on Wednesday at both the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall, and the Salvation Army, Hanapepe Corps.
Combined, more than 1,000 meals were handed out to people looking to enjoy the traditional meal-offering of turkey, stuffing, gravy, vegetables and dessert.
However, the traditional sit-down meal with entertainment was modified to allow families to pick up their meal in a drive-thru, walk-up format to enjoy at a site outside of where the meals were being distributed.
The fellowship of the annual meal could not be stymied as cars designating five meals had the recipients of the meals all seated in the car, waiting to say their missing-you sentiments to both Capt. Shawn Keoho of the Lihu‘e Corps and Lt. Amy Lewis of the Hanapepe Corps, who greeted each car personally, reaching in to touch Salvation Army patrons encased in their steel cocoons.
“I want the bones,” said West Kaua‘i Lions Club president Kay Hill. “Everybody eats the meat. Thanksgiving is when my family makes jook with the bones.”
Lions Clubs formed a large part of the volunteers at both the Lihu‘e and Hanapepe sites. Lion Matt Bernabe of the East Kaua‘i demonstrated his gratitude at being asked to help at the event where meals were freely shared with the community.
“I’ve already gone to talk with the COVID-19 testing site people next door,” Capt. Keoho said. “I invited them all to come share a meal. There’s even a meal set aside for Lenny Rapozo, the convention hall manager.”
Besides the Lions Clubs, the Lihu‘e site had volunteers from the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i helping move cars through the drive-through, and the crew from The Plantation House by Gaylord’s helping move the food line. Hanapepe site included volunteers from the Soup Kitchen making short work preparing the turkeys roasted by the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa, the Kanaka School, the Episcopal Church West Kaua‘i, and the Salvation Army advisory board members.
The Kapa‘a Interfaith Association invites people to its free Interfaith Community Worship at the All Saints Church starting at 10:30 a.m. where COVID-19 health measures will be followed, including wearing face masks and social distancing.
The service will be followed by a delicious turkey meal that can be picked up at the All Saints Gym in a drive-through, or walk-up option. The meal prepared by Chef Mark Oyama and the staff of Contemporary Flavors Catering will be available from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Participating churches in the Kapa‘a Interfaith Association include the All Saints Episcopal Church, St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, Happy Science, Kapa‘a Hongwanji Temple, Kapa‘a Jodo Mission, the Lihu‘e Hongwanji Temple, the Kapa‘a Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Kapa‘a United Church of Christ, and the Kapa‘a First Hawaiian Church.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.