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Lots of Loaves & Fishes food goes out

LIHU‘E — What do you do when there are more people than food?

“Simple,” said Yvonne Johnson of the Saint Michael’s and All Angels Church Loaves &Fishes ministry. “We send them back to the church and we make more food packages. Usually, we start out with about 85 packages.”

The Loaves &Fishes Ministries distributes food at the Vidinha Stadium parking lot on a twice monthly basis — the first and third Wednesday of each month. It takes two days to prepare for the single-day distribution, which starts at 9 a.m. and is over by 10 a.m.

On Monday, before the distribution, Johnson and Kento Caya pick up the food and prepare it for packing. On Tuesday, a special group of volunteers come to the church and package the food for distribution. And on Wednesday morning, the food is distributed.

“People start lining up from as early as 5 a.m.,” Johnson said. “But we don’t start the line until 9 o’clock. If everyone is ready, we might open a few minutes earlier.”

A crowd of ladies gathered between the lines of cars waiting for the drive-thru format to start, chittering in the breezy morning waiting for the day’s package that included a carton of eggs, a loaf of bread, fresh potatoes, carrots, zucchini and some assorted groceries.

“They even have a social hour,” Johnson said. “I’ve been doing this for about 20 years, now. At first, I had a hard time. Now, it’s all familiarity. I know who they are. I might not know their names, but I see them at Costco whenever I’m there.”

At an average of 85 families getting taken care of on each distribution, the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i has told Johnson they are one of the bigger pantry programs.

“The distribution on the third week is even bigger,” Johnson said. “That’s when we get more fresh produce and Michelle Panoke comes with her Kupuna Boxes.”
Source: The Garden Island

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