LIHU‘E — Members of the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas surpassed its goal by collecting 3,068 pounds of food that was donated to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, announced Julie Pavao of the resort.
“Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank did three food pick-ups,” Pavao said in an email. “Each pickup contained more than 1,000 pounds of food.”
The Westin Princeville food drive was conducted as part of The Harvest for Hunger program with Marriott Vacations Worldwide who has a commitment to fight to end hunger through its annual food drive.
Taking place from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, the initiative encourages associates, owners and guests at the participating resorts, and Marriott Vacations Worldwide offices globally to share in the spirit of the holiday season by contributing nonperishable food items to benefit local food banks.
“Marc Walz, The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas general manager, is very proud of all our associates, owners and guests for their generosity and efforts to give back to our Kaua‘i community,” Pavao said. “This year’s donations for The Westin Princeville totaled 3,068 pounds, doubling its ambitious donation goal of 1,500 pounds of food.”
Affiliate Realtor Donna King and newly-appointed Kaua‘i Board of Realtors Association Executive Nani Sadora on Thursday reviewed the $30,150 contribution to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank during the KBR annual membership meeting that was held at the Timbers Resort.
Sadora said the total contribution was a result of the KIFB Virtual Food Box Drive that was conducted in November, and presented during the annual membership meeting.
“We had a goal of raising $30,000,” Sadora said. “We are thrilled that KBR members and affiliates exceeded that goal by raising $30,150.”
Affiliate Realtor King was also thrilled that this year’s total exceeded amounts collected during previous drives.
“We needed an event for our annual membership meeting,” King said. “The Virtual Food Box Drive was a collaborative effort between Rowena Cobb, recently retired from KIFB, Toni Ishimoto of KBR, and myself. The first year we collected some money, and the second year, a little more. This is our third year of doing the Virtual Food Box, and the KBR members and affiliates gave a lot. This is such a nice feeling to participate in this.”
Kelvin Moniz, in thought over the generous contributions from both the Westin Princeville, and the Kaua‘i Boiard of Realtors, was overjoyed with the efforts.
“The Virtual Food Box is something we put together from the generous donations we receive from the community,” Moniz said. “The virtual box will feed a family of four for up to a week. People donate to keep the box going at $50 per box. The realtors are our eyes and ears in the community. When they go about their work in the various neighborhoods and communities, they run into people who need the services of the food bank. They can let us know, we’ll put together a box, or boxes if there are multiple families, and the realtor comes, picks up the boxes, and makes the deliveries, thereby keeping the family’s dignity.”
Moniz said it’s very similar to the emergency situation taking place in Waimea Valley following the recent rockfall.
The county reports that a coordinated food distribution will take place Friday through the collaborative efforts of the Kekaha Ag Association, E Ola Mau Na Leo O Kekaha, Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i, Kumano I Ke Ala, the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, Chad Buck of Hawai‘i Foodservice Alliance, the West Kaua‘i Hongwanji Waimea temple, the West Kaua‘i Christian Center, county officials, including councilmen Billy DeCosta, Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, Vandersloot Foundation, Nourish Kaua‘i, Waimea High School, Senate President Ron Kouchi, ‘Aina Ho‘okupu O Kilauea, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and local farmers and fishers.
“We’re getting phone calls from Waimea about people’s concern for food for families that are stuck,” Moniz said. “We set up the callers needs, and they come to pick up from our warehouse. They are our eyes and ears. We need more eyes and ears.”
A similar situation is the Spam Musubi Truck’s efforts at trying to feed keiki during the Winter Break when, without the benefit of having school in session, the keiki might go hungry.
“And, we have the weekly Wednesday food distribution where we regularly service more than 50 families every week from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” Moniz said. “We have something for anyone who is hungry.”