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All in the ‘ohana at Anahola distribution

ANAHOLA — There are two remaining Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana pop-up food distributions, the next two Thursdays — Nov. 12 at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Park in Kapa‘a, and Nov. 19 at Vidinha Stadium.

“We need all hands on deck for those two remaining events,” said Tish Ruiz of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch Thursday during the Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana pop-up food distribution at the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Anahola Clubhouse. “Today we are hosting 300 families. The next two will be bigger, so we need everyone’s help.”

Diane Keeler, manager of Walmart in Lihu‘e, represented the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch board, and brought her blue-shirted ‘ohana to help, along with Andy Evers, manager of Koloa Landing Resort, who had his crew present during last week’s distribution at St. Raphael Church in Koloa.

“We came all the way from Kekaha and Hanapepe,” said Ella Kimokeo, one of the volunteers with the Alu Like program. “But my sister is helping with the St. Raphael Church group, and Pua Kaohelauli‘i is my cousin, so this is all in the family.”

Tammy Cabacungan of the Alu Like program chaperoned Kimokeo and other volunteers, who arrived in the Alu Like van.

“They’re raring to get out and do something,” Cabacungan said. “This is not one of the program’s sanctioned activities during this COVID-19 times, so the ladies are volunteering directly with the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch,” she said.

”Alu Like gave me permission to use the van to get the ladies to and from the event following social distancing. You should see, that big van with just three ladies, one here, one there, and one more in the far back seat. But they want to come, just like last week when they helped at the St. Raphael Church.”

Wes Perreira, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch manager, said the Anahola Clubhouse distribution was sold out, with 300 families registered for food-package pickup. This compares with the upcoming drives where he anticipates about 500 families signing up for the Kapa‘a site, and up to 700 families for the Vidinha Stadium site.

Michelle Panoke, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch office manager, said the Anahola distribution brings the total to more than 83,000 pounds of food distributed since the Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana program started on Sept. 24.

Registration is required for the remaining Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana pop-up food distributions.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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