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Malama Kaua‘i summer meal box program looking for volunteers

LIHU‘E — Malama Kaua‘i announced the Kaukau 4 Keiki summer meal box program, as well as a call for volunteers to help.

In addition to volunteers to help with the Kaukau 4 Keiki, Malama Kaua‘i is also seeking a paid part-time packer and delivery driver.

“We’ve had difficulty recently filling temporary and part-time roles like these,” said Meagan Fox, the Malama Kaua‘i executive director. “Delivery drivers are important because we have so many vulnerable ‘ohana without transportation to pick up boxes. We’re hopeful the roles will be filled before the Kaukau 4 Keiki program starts. Our community always comes together to support our keiki.”

Malama Kaua‘i anticipates serving at least 500 keiki through the Kaukau 4 Keiki meal box program for the summer because more than 350 applications were received in the first day since the program was announced.

“We’ve never received this many applications this fast,” Fox said. “I think the economy being the way it is, and food costs rising, it’s putting a lot of families in a bind to feed their kids during the summer.”

The Kaukau 4 Keiki program provides free boxes highlighting locally sourced foods and menus for seven days worth of breakfasts and lunches for food insecure keiki across the island.

Funded by the USDA Summer Food Service Progrtam, the boxes will be offered for pickup on Monday afternoons from June 3 through July 29 for approved families.

Families must submit an application to participate in the program. Those families in certain towns and/or without transportation who require home delivery of boxes must provide documentation of low income by providing a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or a free or reduced meal award letter or completing a new meal benefit form.

Several organizations have committed to co-host meal box pickup sites, including Waimea Huaka‘i, the Koloa Elementary School, King’s Chapel in Lihu‘e, Kaua‘i United Church of Christ in Kapa‘a and Kukulu Kumuhana O Anahola.

More than a dozen local food producers are supported through the program providing items, such as fruits, vegetables, granola, bread and poi for the meal boxes.

For more information on registering as a volunteer, how to apply for Kaukau 4 Keiki, or to make a donation, visit MalamaKauai.org/kaukau-4-keiki or call Food Access Coordinator Mandy Martinez at 808-828-0685, ext. 16.
Source: The Garden Island

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