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Giving more than pumpkins

Around half of the 300 prepared food packages were gone in less than 20 minutes, said Tisha Ruiz of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch following the food distribution at the Westside Christian Center Assembly of God church in Kekaha.

The distribution completed the big-pumpkin giveaway that took place two weeks ago at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center.

“We can only have a limited number of people because of the COVID-19 regulations,” said Stephanie Iona of Kekaha Agriculture during the giveaway. “We wanted to do a food distribution, but that would be over the limit of people we are allowed to have.”

The food distribution took place Thursday, where more than 300 food packages were handed out in a drive-thru, no-contact format at the Kekaha church.

“People went through the first half of their 300 units in less than 20 minutes,” Ruiz said. “There were a variety of food items as well as pumpkins, and snack packs for the keiki that included a coloring book and crayons for extra fun.”

Due to the success of the Thursday event, the Westside Christian Center Assembly of God is hosting a Harvest Celebration Drive-thru Sunday, Oct. 31, starting at 5 p.m. until supplies are exhausted.

The Westside Christian Center Assembly of God wished to extend its appreciation for the support from the distribution sponsors: Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch, ‘E Ola Mau, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, AES, Meridian Pacific, PepsiCo, Alexander &Baldwin, the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Kaua‘i Region, the Kekaha Agriculture Association, Kaua‘i Shrimp, Grove Farm, the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League, ‘Aina Ho‘okupu o Kilauea, Kamehameha Schools and the Lili‘uokalani Trust.

The efforts of all the sponsors were coordinated by Iona for the pumpkin giveaways that spanned the island from Hanalei to Kekaha.

“It’s been fun and heartfelt to enjoy the many happy faces and hearts that were touched by the gift of a pumpkin,” Iona said. “May today we serve those in need of food, and pray that God continues to guide us all towards a life that provides us safety and good health.”

Ruiz said anyone who needs food assistance can visit hawaiifoodbank.org/help/.

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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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