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USDA food boxes go out 1 last time

LIHU‘E — Last week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers to Families food distribution was smaller than usual, and distribution was limited to just Queen Lili‘uokalani client families and the Kukulu Kumuhana O Anahola group that took care of distributing to the Anahola community.

Shereen Ho‘opi‘i, the Kaua‘i director of the Lili‘uokalani Trust, said the 200 packages are the last of the USDA Farmers to Families Food Package Program that started earlier this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, when families struggled to cope with the imposed conditions.

“The USDA has just informed the public that the program will sunset at the end of May,” Ho‘opi‘i said. “We are grateful for the collaboration of community partners who helped us to provide these boxes to families in need, and to everyone who ensured these boxes reached our community.”

Just in 2021, The Lili‘uokalani Trust on Kaua‘i provided 1,850 food packages distributed through the efforts of community groups, including the county Agency on Elderly Affairs coordinated by Donna Lynn Loo, and the Boys & Girls Club of Hawai‘i sending food to its sites on the Westside, Lihu‘e and Kapa‘a. The Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League consistently took portions of the delivery from Kapa‘a through Kekaha through the efforts of its five member associations.

The Lili‘uokalani Trust estimates that the value of these food boxes produced in conjuction with Ham Seafood and Produce to be approximately $135,000. Each food box was made of three components — milk, a protein package and a produce box that included blocks of cheese and butter.

The USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program started in May 2020, and has provided communities across the United States with more than 155 million boxes.

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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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