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Former mayor helps food distribution

LIHU‘E — You needed to be in line early in order to get the watermelon Saturday during a food distribution taking place at the United Public Workers building on Rice Street.

“The watermelons ran out early,” said Leilani Mindoro, the food distribution coordinator. “All we got left are pineapples. Pineapples and eggs to go along with the canned goods, produce, and even bread.”

Former Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. was in charge of both commodities at one of the two drive-thru lines.

“I’m here as a father today,” Carvalho said. “My two sons are helping. They asked if I wanted to help, so here I am. I’m just a father today.”

Mindoro said the food distribution is a combined effort of the unions on Kaua‘i, including the AFL-CIO, the UPW, HGEA, HTA, UPEW, IBEW, HSTA, Local 5, the Carpenters Union, and ILWU.

“This is for the union workers and their families,” Mindoro said. “But we never turn anyone who needs away. We have the kupuna from the Rice Street camp coming with their walkers. No, we let our guys carry the food over for them. We love the fact kupuna live across the street and we can help care for them.”

She said the distribution, enjoying its second week after distributing more than 200 packages last week, is possible through the help of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i branch, and Konohiki Seafoods, which loaned them a mobile refrigerator for perishable food items.

The distribution takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, or until supplies run out.

“We gotta take care of each other,” Mindoro said. “Especially in these kind of times.”

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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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