Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island - Kelvin Moniz, operations manager at the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, is joined by Michael Schmidt of Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty, Royden Yamamoto, manager of Times Supermarket, Judy Lenthall, executive director of KIFB, and Carlina Morden of Times Supermarket in showing off some of the 900 holiday hams KIFB picked up with help from Bali Hai Realty and Times Supermarket, Monday.

In their honor, Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty, Inc. donated $100 for every agent and employee at its office and then threw in a little extra to help the Kauai Independent Food Bank during the holiday season.  The Kauai Independent Food Bank provides vital food to those in need and is an organization dear to John Ferry and the Bali Hai Ohana.

Below is the article from the Garden Island Newspaper:

LIHU‘E — Michael Schmidt of Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty came through, Monday.

Schmidt, who had stopped to help Monty Downs install the 100th rescue tube at Kealia Beach, continued his town-bound journey, ending at Times Supermarket where he met up with Judy Lenthall, executive director of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, and Kelvin Moniz, operations manager of the KIFB.

He put forward a check for $3,600 which helped pay for 900 canned hams earmarked for the holiday food distributions that start Wednesday.

“People always joke about how we just make money,” Schmidt said. “Today, we’re giving out. Helping feed people who need food is a worthwhile reason to spend, especially in this holiday season.”

Lenthall said the money goes farther than just the check because the KIFB received a donor who specifically earmarked $500 for St. Williams church in Hanalei.

“That was if he could get a matching business donor,” Lenthall said, prodding Schmidt’s hand to dig even deeper. “Now, this is worth $4,600.”

Lenthall said using averages of three to a family and each family getting a five-pound can of ham, it equates to about 2,700 people getting fed for the holidays.

But that may be for just one weekend, or a day.

“Right now, we’re getting more than 9,000 emergency requests for food,” Lenthall said. “The hams only feed 2,700. We have a long way to go to satisfy everyone’s needs.”

Moniz said the good news is the KIFB Holiday Food collection went over its 40,000-pound collection over the weekend.

“We have to credit three main organizations for this feat,” Moniz said. “It started with Russell Onuma’s fourth grade class at the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School, the  food collection from the Student Council at the King Kaumuali‘i Elementary School, and Bertram Almeida and the moto-cross group, Sunday.”

Moniz said there was no single point where the collection went over its goal, but currently, with all of the tallies, including people dropping off food at the fire stations, the total is at 41, or 42,000 pounds of food.

Monetarily, he said with just several days remaining in the Dec. 15 cutoff, KIFB is still about $13,000 shy of the $40,000 goal.

“This has been one of the most amazing drives we’ve done,” Moniz said. “What makes it amazing is that it was the several hundred pounds here, and several hundred pounds there that put us over the top.”

To help alleviate the financial shortfall, Moniz said the East Kaua‘i Lions Foundation has pledged $250 to the KIFB, and another $250 to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive.

Lenthall said the KIFB has resorted to dipping into its savings to help pay for food being requested through its emergency food requests.

“The food is still going out faster than it’s coming in,” Lenthall said. “But at least, 900 families will have a brighter holiday because of the help from Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty and Times Supermarket.”

She said it’s past Thanksgiving already, but KIFB still has a lot to be thankful for.

Visit www.kauaifoodbank.org, or call 246-3809 for more information.

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