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Westside food handed out for spring break, storm relief

WAIMEA — Kalani Vierra, the Kaua‘i Fire Department Ocean Safety Bureau chief, said with all the weather we’ve had, he was hoping that people impacted by the storm were among the line of people waiting for the spring break food giveaway Tuesday at the Waimea Canyon Middle School parking lot.

Vierra was serving with the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association that was part of the network of partners providing up to 500 meal food packages for people impacted by the spring break and no free lunch or grab-and-go meals for keiki.

“This is really good,” an elderly gentleman smiled as he drove his pickup into the serving line. “I haven’t had any food for three weeks. It’s good they do this, otherwise I don’t get food.”

The Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank partnered with a host of community groups, including Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, Pepsi, Kekaha Agriculture Association, Hawai‘i Meats and the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Kaua‘i Branch in pulling together for the effort sparked by state Senate President Ron Kouchi and sponsored by the Frank and Beelinda VanderSloot Foundation.

“I’m hoping the parents come,” said Kekaha School Principal Marilyn Asahi as she chatted with KIFB’s Leona Perez and some of the Waimea High School JROTC cadets, some of whom donned JROTC face masks, but opted for other Menehune sports supporter wear. “I sent out email reminders and was on social media encouraging parents to take advantage of this.”

Paige Moura, the administrative assistant at the HHSC Kaua‘i Region, said their group turned out as an outreach gesture, taking advantage of the opportunity to introduce their new doctors — Dr. Amy Guyton, who got a face-to-face meeting with Dr. Monty Downs of the KLA, and Dr. Heidi Purcell, who practiced saying “wala‘au!” — to the community with introductory goodie bags containing energy bars, a Band-Aid dispenser for pocket or purse, and a pocket-sized sanitizer.

“We’re not done, yet,” said Jennifer Mariano, the HHSC Kaua‘i Region human resources director. “We’re helping the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch when they have Na Ho‘omaka Hou Pop-Up food distribution Thursday at the Bryan J. Baptiste Memorial Sports Complex. And they have another one April 1 at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center.”

According to the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i website, the Thursday event is already filled up for the 10 a.m. distribution. Registration for the Kekaha Neighborhood Center distribution opens at 9 a.m. on March 25 at hawaiifoodbank.org/kauai-pop-up/.
Source: The Garden Island

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