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Food distributions for National Faith & Blue Weekend on Friday

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department will be joining local faith communities to celebrate National Faith & Blue Weekend with three food distributions on Friday.

Volunteers from a number of organizations and local churches will be on hand to help distribute grocery bags of nonperishable food and dry goods on a first-come, first-served basis from 1 to 4 p.m., or until supplies are exhausted.

Food will be distributed in a drive-thru format to individuals and families in need at three locations: Calvary Chapel in Lihu‘e at 3.3100 Kuhio Highway; the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Kalaheo at 2-2370 Kaumuali‘i Highway; and at the Waipouli Town Center in the parking lot of the former Foodland.

All proper safety precautions will be observed during the event. This means wearing a mask while picking up the food items while remaining in your vehicle.

“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 that the rest of the country is faced with,” Police Chief Todd Raybuck said in a release. “Having said that, I know that we can always do better, and we can always be more open and willing to connect with the public. We thought that this event would be the perfect platform right now to do so, especially given the challenges our community has faced with COVID and other hardships. A big mahalo to all of the individuals and organizations that made these food distributions possible. I also want to thank our community for the continued support.”

Chaplain Gregory Poole of ‘Ohana Christian Fellowship said this is the second year of implementing Faith & Blue on Kaua‘i. National Faith & Blue Weekend is an initiative that builds bridges and breaks down biases through activities and outreach amongst law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve.

“This year’s Faith & Blue demonstrates an important reminder that, on Kaua‘i, no one is alone,” Poole said. “We all work together to care for one another and each other. A caring and unified community is strong. It is our hope to see the event grow each year, and to have an even larger impact.”

The evidence of food distribution impacts showed its head on Wednesday when the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank opened its doors to emergency food pick-up.

Francisco Terez and Orlino Rumbawo were among the people picking up food packages to feed their families. They have been regulars since KIFB initiated the Wednesday pickups about a month ago.

KIFB’s pick-up schedule is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., where individuals or families can stop by to get a food package, and beverages while supplies last.

“We still have a good number of people coming in for food,” said KIFB Executive Director Kelvin Moniz. “People appear to be returning to their jobs, but there is still an amount of economic uncertainty as we wait for the visitors to return. People are very resilient, making do with whatever we have to share.”

Lynnell Woodward, a new Zonta Club of Kaua‘i member, of eXp Realty was joined by associates Rebecca Robson, Stephanie Struble, and Phillip and Diana Hegmann of Security Mortgage in volunteering on Wednesday at the Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kaua‘i Branch as the realtors’ Give Back Day.

The group spent most of their morning doing “scavenge” duties like double-checking contributed food for quality, or more commonly, the expiration dates, as well as securing food labeling and the condition of the containers to prevent old and contaminated food from leaving the distribution facility.

Oct. 6 is celebrated as the 12th eXp Realty “Heart to Hand” community day where giving back through service to the community is one of the nine eXp core values.

“We are truly blessed,” said Michelle Panoke of the Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kaua‘i Branch. “We have all of these groups, including the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, working together for a singular purpose — to keep the island fed!”

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

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