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KIFB gets holiday push

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank had a lot to be grateful for on Monday.

Dennis Esaki, representing Esaki Surveying and Mapping, Inc., dropped by the Nawiliwili facility with a donation check celebrating the company’s 42 years of being in business.

“We have been fortunate to have been here for 42 years,” Esaki said. “The least we can do is provide a turkey for a family — one for each of the years we’ve been doing business.”

Kelvin Moniz, the KIFB executive director, was thrilled with the gesture, noting the demand for food goes up, especially during the holiday season.

“Our last food distribution done Saturday at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center was meant to help families boost whatever funds they have so they can have extra to get the turkey, or ham,” Moniz said.

The KIFB also launched its holiday food drive to help with the community demand that sees more than 150 food packages for families go out on its weekly emergency food distributions.

“This is still the month of gratitude,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack of the Kukui Grove Center. “On the tail end of Gratitude Day, we appreciate all of those people who are on the front line helping to care for our community.”

The Kukui Grove Center presented KIFB with a $3,000 award towards its holiday food drive on Monday, when Kukui Grove Center and the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau welcomed the KIFB into the Pau Hana Market family.

“They will be here through the end of the year at every week’s Pau Hana Market,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “From 3 to 5 p.m., they will serve as a drop-off point for those wanting to contribute with the food drive. They can also network with the community to talk about possible food insecurity issues, and beyond that, they are able to network with the farmers to see how they are able to support each other. Kukui Grove Center supports small businesses.”

In addition to the funds, KIFB will be featured during the anniversary of the farmers market that takes place during the Nov. 22 market from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Kalepa Road parking lot at Kukui Grove.

“We have a limited amount of Kukui Grove canvas shopping bags to distribute to people who contribute to the KIFB holiday food drive,” said Laurie Ho, president of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau who partners with Kukui Grove to offer the weekly Pau Hana Market that was voted “Best” during the Best of Kaua‘i 2021 voting earlier in the year. “We’re celebrating our farmers during this Thanksgiving Week.”

Moniz said KIFB supports not only the farmers, but the Farm Bureau as well by utilizing locally grown vegetables and fruits during its food distributions that eased hundreds of families’ hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Being here helps us get to know more farmers who can help us feed the communities,” Moniz said. “There are a lot of programs people are not aware of that we do. This is a good time for the community to come and learn more about what we do and how we can help them.”

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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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