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The North Shore Food Pantry began operating in 1997 with distributions out of a
residence, before the Church even had a building. Over the years, the pantry has
gradually grown from one monthly distribution to two distributions each week plus
a bi-weekly school pantry. We support sister pantries when we have a surplus,
have partnered with another church to make mid-week deliveries to local
campgrounds and have been asked to add another school pantry. It is estimated that
over 23,000 people will receive food supplementation in 2020 through our
programs. In 2020, we changed our name to Ho’okipa Kauai Food Pantry.
Ho’okipa is a Hawaiian value described as hospitality that transcends the norm in
serving others, unselfishly extended to guests and strangers alike. The Ho’okipa
Kauai Food Pantry distributes a selection of fresh meat and produce, canned goods,
dairy products, juice, rice, bread, cookies, crackers, chips, snacks and
miscellaneous products to anyone who wants it. We also provide pet food and
personal hygiene supplies. Our goal is to distribute so much food that participants
leave the weekly pantry line with as much as they can carry. Our ambition is to
help provide a regular baseline of nutrition, cleanliness and food supplementation
to feed individuals and families so they have a better opportunity to concentrate on
improving their own lives, mentally, physically and spiritually.
Currently, we sponsor two pantry lines on Wednesdays. The Anahola pantry line is
at 11:00 a.m. on Hawaiian Homelands property across from Anahola Beach. The
Princeville line runs from 1:00p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the lanai at the Church. Both
pantries also provide food for delivery to the elderly, homebound, campers without
vehicles and working families who cannot attend a distribution. Every other
Friday, we also have a distribution at Kilauea Elementary School. Altogether, we
attract participants from all over the island and distribute up to five tons of food
each week.

When Covid-19 hit our island and other pantries temporarily closed to review their
options, ours were the only pantries on Kauai’s North and East shores that
continued to feed the hungry throughout the health crisis. This is due to a dedicated
core of around 30 member and community volunteers who are more faithful than
they are afraid and simply would not consider it. We welcome everyone who feels
a call to help us.

Although the Covid-19 recession impacted everyone, Ho’okipa Kauai was the only pantry on Kauai that received a grant under Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). We are using that money to feed more people with significantly upgraded equipment and facilities, including a cargo van and enclosed trailer, commercial refrigeration, a storage building, plexiglass shields and operating supplies. In addition, we hired a temporary part-time employee to keep up with pandemic sanitation requirements during pantry hours. Except for that employee, we are entirely voluntary, including management.

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