Saturday | June 24, 2017
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About Town 10-5-13

Food Basket begins backpack program

The Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s food pantry, begins its annual backpack program in October, to help provide school children with backpacks of nutritious food on a regular basis. A nationwide initiative the state adopted five years ago, the program has served more than 450 children in two schools over the last two years.

“On the Big Island, we have five elementary schools with free and reduced lunch registrations over 90 percent,” said En Young, Food Basket executive director. “The school with the highest utilization is at 97 percent.”

“Free and reduced lunch kids tend to get their most nutritious meal at school, so we stuff a backpack full of canned food, beverages and snacks for them to take home — especially over long weekends. We try to do this at least once a month, and every other week before summer,” said Young.

Young said this year, with support from the Food Bank, Hawaii Island United Way and a private grant, the Food Basket will be able to expand the backpack program to three schools and more than 1,100 keiki in the Puna and South Kona districts. Every child in the school may receive a backpack, without being labeled as needy. “We qualify the school rather than the individual,” Young said.

Co-Dependents Anonymous holds meetings for women

A Co-Dependents Anony-mous women’s meeting is held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. each Monday at Unity Church sanctuary, 75-5722 Hanama Place in Kailua-Kona.

Co-Dependents Anony-mous is a 12-step fellowship of those who wish to recover from codependence and develop and maintain healthy relationships. The nonprofit organization is supported by voluntary contributions of members.

For more information, email

Mauna Kea SWCD meets Wednesday

Mauna Kea Soil and Water Conservation District meets from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service’s center at 67-1185 Mamalahoa Highway, Suite 148, in Waimea.

Anyone who requires an accommodation or auxiliary aid to attend the meeting should call Margaret Fowler at 885-6602, ext. 100, or email

Traffic safety committee meets

Kona Traffic Safety Committee meets at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Community Hale, Building G of the West Hawaii Civic Center.

The committee meets the second Thursday of each month. Parking is available in the makai parking lot next to Building G.

Chamber planning new member orientation

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce is conducting a new member orientation and is inviting members and future members from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday at the West Hawaii Civic Center, Building A, Council Chambers. This event is complimentary.

Those attending will learn how to use the chamber to meet their objectives, how to navigate ChamberMaster and use it to their advantage, about resources available to members, and how to make the connections necessary to meet their needs.

Register online at, contact the chamber office at 329-1758 or email