KAPA‘A — Kelvin Moniz watched as the Safeway forklift driver negotiated more than six pallets of turkeys into the waiting Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank truck, Monday.
“We bought about 900 turkeys to help feed the hungry for Thanksgiving,” said Moniz, KIFB operations manager. “This is more than last year when we could only afford to buy about 500 turkeys.”
Distribution of the holiday turkeys will take place at numerous locations island-wide on Thursday, although Moniz said some may go out a little later.
Despite the amount which is almost double from that purchased last year, Moniz said they are still in need of more birds.
“Right now, we’re at least 16 turkeys short,” he said. “But by the end of the week, we anticipate a shortage of about 50 turkeys.”
The purchase of turkeys from Safeway coincides with the arrival of Thanksgiving and the holidays and highlights the need for support for the KIFB Holiday Food and Fund Drive which runs through Dec. 15.
“Sunday we got a contribution from the Hawai‘i Children’s Theater for about 380 pounds of food,” Moniz said. “That came from the ‘Peter Pan’ production going on. The HCT did a drive where half was contributed to the Salvation Army and half to the KIFB. All told, they collected more than 700 pounds of food — in one weekend!”
With that contribution, Moniz said the total collected to date is about 21,727 pounds of the 40,000-pound goal.
“Last year, we couldn’t buy that many turkeys because we didn’t have enough money, so we had to settle for the 500-something turkeys,” Moniz said. “Then, someone came through with a contribution so we could get holiday hams to help ease the Christmas demand.”
The turkeys will be distributed by volunteers at various sites including the Salvation Army’s Lihu‘e and Hanapepe Corps, St. William, Church of the Pacific, Waimea United Church of Christ, Kalaheo Missionary Church, Hale Ho‘omalu, St. Michael, St. Raphael, the Aloha Church, Island Worship, Nana’s House, Faith Christian Fellowship, Koloa Union Church, Koloa Missionary Church, King’s Chapel, and the Pu‘uwai Canoe Club.
Moniz said with this kind of demand, people can still contribute to the Food and Fund Drive by dropping off their contributions at any of the fire stations on the island as well as at the KIFB Nawiliwili facility.
The food drive is being sponsored by First Hawaiian Bank, the KQNG Radio Group, Grove Farm, Lappert’s Ice Cream, Arroyo’s Plumbing, PS&D, Koga Engineering, The Gas Company, the County of Kaua‘i Fire Department and The Garden Island newspaper.
Call 246-3809 or visit www.kauaifoodbank.org for more information.