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Sweet 16 yields 200 pounds for food bank

February 18, 2017 GMT

NAWILIWILI — Some people celebrate their birthdays by receiving gifts.

Jaeda Vega, a student at the Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama campus, spent her birthday celebration collecting food for the Kauai Independent Food Bank.

“I came home for a Sweet Sixteen birthday celebration with family and friends at Hanalei,” said Vega, the reigning Jr. Teen Kauai. “I asked friends and those who were coming to bring food instead of gifts.”

Vega and her mother Jennie Waiwaiole delivered the collection of more than 200 pounds Friday to the Kauai Independent Food Bank warehouse in Nawiliwili.

Kelvin Moniz, KIFB executive director, was thrilled to accept the delivery which included bags of rice, an assortment of dry cereal, and canned goods.

“I had my eye on the rice, first,” Moniz said. “We always have a need for rice. This delivery comes at a perfect time because we launch our Spring Healthy Food and Fund Drive on March 1.”

The goal for the spring drive is 45,000 pounds of food and $45,000.

“We maintain several programs, including those that provide food and healthy snacks for keiki through various after school programs, and the kupuna come to shop for their needs,” Moniz said. “Food always comes in, and goes right out.”

Vega said the food collection was her mother’s idea.

“I thought it was a great way to give back to the community,” she said.