Kona Concerts Help Feed Keiki During Holiday Break
by Big Island Now Staff
A series of fundraising concerts in Kona is part of an effort underway to ensure that children don’t go hungry during the winter school break.
The Support the Keiki Christmas Concerts will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. during the next two Wednesdays at the Keauhou Shopping. One was also held on Dec. 5.
Kuana Torres Kahele will be providing the entertainment on Dec. 12 as he showcases his recently released Christmas CD “Hilo for the Holidays.” On Dec. 19, Aunty Lani Lee will perform with Na Kupuna Ali`i O Kona along with the Salvation Army Gospel Choir.
The concerts are being put on by the Salvation Army, Hawaii Island United Way and KAPA Hawaiian FM.
The concerts are free but donations are accepted. Proceeds go to a Salvation Army program that delivers lunches to children in West Hawaii during the school breaks.
The delivery is done with the assistance of the KAPA Keiki Food Truck sponsored by the radio station and Dominos of Kona, HFS Credit Union, Menehune Coffee, Islandwide Solar, Keauhou Shopping Center and The Food Basket.
The public can also donate online at kaparadio.com.
Organizers hope to feed 1,000 keiki a week during this winter school break.
Organizers say there is an alarming number of children on the island that eat breakfast or lunch only during days they are in school.
Statistics compiled by the state Department of Education show that on average, more than half of the students at Big Island schools receive free or subsidized lunches because of financial need.
Also part of the effort is Support the Keiki, established by KAPA and administered by the Hawaii Island United Way to address needs not covered by social agencies.
In addition to the Christmas Concerts, Support the Keiki is also involved in two other annual events: a Slippah Drive and Golf Tournament in the spring to provide footwear to needy children, and a Back to School Drive in July to provide children with school supplies.
***Updated Dec. 17 to correct spelling of name of Kuana Torres Kahele.***