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Weather doesn’t stop emergency food

NAWILIWILI — The constant, heavy rain that blanketed Nawiliwili Friday did not bother Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank as he coordinated the loading of pallets of supplies bound for Princeville to aid people impacted by the huge landslide that blocks Kuhio Highway leading to the Hanalei Bridge.

“I’ve been here for 20 years,” Moniz said while cars threaded through the large ponding taking place at the bottom of Nawiliwili Road. “And we’ve never been flooded yet.”

The Kaua‘i Humane Society had just finished loading pet food and was ready to clear the space for more vehicles to be loaded with food bound for Hanalei.

“The Kaua‘i Humane Society got 50 bags of dog food and 15 bags of cat food bound for people impacted by the landslide,” said Kawehi Harris, who along with Anthony Miller contended with the rain and flooding conditions to load their vehicle.

“We also got some chicken food for the people out there. I understand they’re loading more food, so we’re just going to help load them up too.”

Chantal Zarbaugh of the Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union coordinated a large delivery, partnering with the Kaua‘i Fire Department’s Ocean Safety Bureau and KIFB to help with relief efforts for people impacted by the landslide that now separates Hanalei and areas west from the rest of the island.

“We want food we can cook, too,” Zarbaugh said. “We’re setting up in Princeville, moving the supplies with Laird Hamilton, and settling at Hale Halawai. Monica Belz, the KGEFCU CEO, is leading the effort. We’re also going to be cooking at Tahiti Nui.”

Food in response to emergency or disaster is one of the missions of the KIFB, Moniz said while coordinating the loading of a pallet of bottled water onto a pickup truck.

He pointed out the pallet of miscellaneous personal-hygiene products that joined the list of items that included flour, rice, dried saimin, assorted canned goods and more.

Wes Perreira of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch said they were fortunate to have beaten the weather.

“We had a full warehouse of supplies,” Perreira said. “We moved extras to the St. William’s pantry in Hanalei, and also to the Church of the Pacific — all before the weather broke. We have supplies in place both down the hill and up the hill. Additionally, we made a truckload of supplies to Princeville Thursday.”

Perreira said he’s also been getting calls from retailers asking if the foodbank needs help.

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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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