Food 4 Keiki Backpack program benefits hundreds of Kalihi students

The Hawaii Foodbank’s Food 4 Keiki Backpack program kicked off at Princess Victoria Kaiulani Elementary this week with a $1,000 donation from Walmart.

Starting next month, every student will receive backpacks filled with nutritious and easy-to-prepare foods to take home for weekends, when school meals are not available.

Every Friday, the packs are refilled with food, such as pasta meals, soups, cereals, fruit, applesauce, pudding cups, chocolate milk and fruit juice.

All students benefit, whether or not they qualify for the free or reduced lunch program.

“For the students who lose or misplace their backpacks, the Hawaii Foodbank still provide a gallon-sized bag filled with food each week for the student,” said principal Jill Puletasi. “No student at Kaiulani is denied a bag of food from the Foodbank.”

Three-hundred-eighty-six students attend the Kalihi elementary school.

Puletasi says they’re grateful for the generosity of community partners, including the Kamehameha Lions Club.

“The Lions generously donate their time each Friday to fill the backpacks or bags with food for distribution, ensuring that each child is given approximately the same items and quantity,” she said. “There is no way that we would be able to execute such an undertaking each week without their support.”

Click here for more information on the foodbank’s Food 4 Keiki Backpack program.

food 4 keiki donation
From left: Jill Puletasi, Principal, Kaiulani Elementary; Polly Kauahi, Vice President & COO, Hawaii Foodbank; Ray Griego, Store Manager, Downtown Honolulu Walmart; and Paul Graham, Vice Principal, Kaiulani Elementary.

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