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Delivering for the needy

PUHI — Hawaii Foodbank Kauai branch will deliver food island-wide with greater ease now that it has a 2020 International Trucks delivery vehicle.

The delivery truck was unveiled in a Friday blessing.

“It enables the foodbank to provide a little better efficiency in delivery, to assist our distribution islandwide,” said Patrick Ono of Matson, a HFBK advisory board member.

“Not everyone can come to the food bank, and we support a lot of the community churches, schools and areas that provide food where it is needed the most,” said Ono.

Ono was instrumental in facilitating delivery of the new HFBK truck, which was paid for with the help of seven sponsors, which donated a little more than $100,000 to make it possible: Atherton Family Foundation, Cooke Foundation Ltd., G.N. Wilcox Trust, Hawaii Lodging &Tourism Association, Kosasa Foundation, Matson Inc., and The UPS Foundation.

Driver James Hughes, one of two drivers at Hawaii Foodbank, said he is ecstatic about driving the new truck.

“It’s a huge help to us because we now have another, new, reliable truck. It has a really nice liftgate that helps us get large loads into the truck quicker and easier. It also has a refrigerator to keep the food cool, and we can reach more facilities islandwide,” said Hughes.

Besides the liftgate, other special features of the truck include side mirrors, easy steps, refrigerator and spacious bed.

Pastor Darryl Kua of Westside Christian Center of Kekaha blessed the truck and the driver with two passages from the Bible and a prayer. Staff and advisory board members bowed their heads and participated in the blessing. It took place at the foodbank’s warehouse in the Puhi Industrial Area around 9 a.m.

While Kua was doing the blessing, Manu Marshman, from Calvary Church of Lihue, was packing her car with trash bags of food to take back to the church.

“It is such a blessing for us to be able to pick up food here for our food pantry. But now it will be even better when they can deliver,” said Marshman.

Since 2015, HFBK has delivered more than 1.2 million pounds of food to the needy population on Kauai through their network of food pantries and soup kitchens. That was before the April 2018 floods, which triggered a huge need for food distribution and caused HFBK to surpass distribution records. In 2018, the foodbank distributed 1.4 million pounds of food.

The new delivery truck can carry eight crates of food per delivery route, saving the foodbank time, money and trips back to the warehouse. HBFK’s Community Development Specialist Chyenne Beach also says it’s going to improve HBFK’s operations.

“Good things are about to happen to Kauai ohana,” Beach said. “With our new truck, we are better equipped to meet the challenges of serving the people of Kauai.”

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Stephanie Shinno, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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