LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i was among the beneficiaries when KForce, a Florida-based professional staffing company, selected the island as a recognition reward for about 500 of its people.
“It’s a nice place to come to,” said Ray Moranti, the KForce vice president of Talent Management Strategy and Recognition Chairperson. “We try to give back wherever we go to.”
During its stay on Kaua‘i, the KForce delegates were joined by several community leaders, including Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., Brad Snyder, Steve Yannarell, Chuck Brady and other staff members of the Kaua‘i Marriott as well as leaders of the Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kaua‘i Branch and the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank for a Monday exercise. KIFB board directors also joined in the packing.
Delegates were ushered into the Salon 1 ballroom where tables were set up with the goal of packing 50,000 meals within a 30-minute time span.
With two sessions scheduled, 100,000 meals of Lentil Casserole were packed within two hours, allowing for changes in the shifts.
“This was done in partnership with the Feeding Children Everywhere program,” Morganti said. “We’ve done this as a way of giving back. Everything had to be shipped in, and once completed, the 100,000 meals stay on Kaua‘i to help feed people.”
Don Campbell, the President and CEO of Feeding Children Everywhere was making arrangements with the KIFB for taking away the remainder of supplies following the mass packing.
“We had to pay for shipping things in,” Morganti said, noting that to date, KForce, in partnership with Feeding Children Everywhere, has distributed more than 2.5 million meals throughout the world. “We don’t want to have to pay to take them back.”
Michelle Panoke of the Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kaua‘i Branch, said the meals are lentil casserole and the Kaua‘i Marriott staff had prepared some for sampling.
“One package feeds four adults,” Panoke said. “It has a shelf life of five years, although we don’t want to have to keep it that long. There’s 48 packages in a case and three pallets going back to the warehouse with James Hughes.”
Panoke was taking back a tray of prepared lentil casserole, noting they would allow their partners to sample so they know what they were getting.
The meal consisting of lentils, rice, a blend of six dehydrated vegetables and pink Himalayan salt was selected because of easily digestible source of protein, necessary carbohydrates, vitamins such as vitamin A, B6, C, D, E, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and more than 84 trace minerals plus amino acids, states the Feeding Children website. The meal is formulated to help combat the effects of hunger on the human body. All that is needed to cook the meal is boiling water.
Kelvin Moniz and Frank Ranger of the KIFB had plans of distributing these as part of their Backpack Program for keiki, and possibly with the kupuna in the recently-launched Kupa‘a Kokua Kupuna program.
“Those kupuna are very ingenious when it comes to creating good food,” Moniz said. “They’ll probably add some sausage, do this, do that, and we’ll have another good local dish.”
Robin Savage-Thompson, a Kaua‘i business owner, who along with G. Rodrick & Associates, coordinated the KForce itinerary here, was grateful for the gesture of giving back to the island.
“We were lucky we could get the mayor to come and welcome the guests, Sunday night,” Savage-Thompson said. “This morning, he took a break from the budget sessions to come with Regina and help pack food which will help our people in need.”
Savage-Thompson added people should look into the Feeding Children Everywhere, a social charity which empowers and mobilize people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children.
Visit www.feedingchildreneverywhere.com for more information.