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Na Ho‘omaka Hou feeds Kekaha

KEKAHA — Good food and good people filled the rapidly-warming morning Thursday during the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch Na Ho‘omaka Hou pop-up food distribution at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center, where the tennis courts exuded excitement from about 40 pickleball players who escaped the rains in Hanapepe to play in Kekaha.

“Woo-hoo!” said Tammy Cabacungan of the Kaua‘i Alu Like program. She could not contain her excitement when she discovered the bags of freshly-made poi from Waipa and the Goteborg log. “Good food — especially because it’s the day before a long weekend.”

The foodbank partnered with numerous good people to distribute more than 300 food packages to the line of cars waiting to proceed through the drive-thru, no-contact distribution.

“All of the appointments were filled,” said Chyenne Beach of the foodbank. “Today is my last day. Ah, I got you — Happy April Fools!”

Tish Ruiz of the foodbank said more than 5,800 pounds of food were distributed, not including the special donations.

“We have Safeway gift cards for those who are coming through without registrations,” Ruiz said.
“Stephanie Iona bought bags of fresh poi from Waipa, and the Kaua‘i Food Hub brought over fresh produce. And E ‘Ola Mau got hot bento for everyone from Unko’s Kitchen.”

The Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Kaua‘i Region had Dr. Heidi Purcell and Dr. Cynthia Horton distributing personal snacks and other giveaways, along with Jackie Kanna, Paige Moura and Raelene Malama, who switched to the St. Theresa Church distribution tent where The Salvation Army Hanapepe Corps’ Lt. Amy Lewis had the regularly-scheduled day off so she could help.

“This is my third food distribution,” Purcell said, starting with the Westside Spring Break Food Giveaway and moving to Na Ho‘omaka Hou distribution in Kapa‘a. “I’m already famous.”

Ursline Munar had time off to help with the St. Theresa volunteer group led by Clarissa Emayo, whose husband Deacon Bambi Emayo was moved from Holy Cross Church in Kalaheo to St. Theresa Church in Kekaha.

“This is Kekaha,” Munar said. “The girls in the Kekaha Federal Credit Union office said they could take care of things so I could come and help.”

The foodbank will host the next Na Ho‘omaka Hou pop-up food distribution on Thursday, April 15, from 10 a.m. at Vidinha Stadium in Lihu‘e. Appointments for this distribution will open on Thursday, April 8, starting at 9 a.m. at the foodbank’s website, hawaiifoodbank.org/kauai-pop-up/.

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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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