BGCBI Donates Time, Kitchen to Thanksgiving Cause

November 27, 2019, 9:37 AM HST (Updated November 27, 2019, 9:37 AM)
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BGCBI loaned its kitchen to The Salvation Army to cook 72 turkeys for Thanksgiving. PC: BGCBI

Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island hit the kitchen over the weekend, helping The Salvation Army cook 72 Thanksgiving Day turkeys.

The birds will be the main course in 400 meals for Hawai‘i Island kupuna and the homeless on Thursday.

“We heard that The Salvation Army was struggling to find a business or someone that had access to a large scale commercial grade kitchen that could get the 70-plus turkeys cooked in the short time frame before Thanksgiving” said Chad Cabral, Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s CEO. “We volunteered our time and offered our kitchen to assist.”

The cooking started at 5 a.m. and went steady throughout the night. Several Boys & Girls Club youth volunteered and spent their Saturday helping with the prep work, cooking and kitchen cleaning required.

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“This was a good opportunity for Hawai‘i Island community nonprofits to come together and support a pono cause and great opportunity for our youth members to dedicate their weekend, give back to the community and learn hands-on about service and volunteerism” Cabral said. “We were happy to assist and be a part of something so very much special and needed, as the holidays are now here.”

Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island offers an after-school nutritional program for kids in need, and they can always do with more donations. PC: BGCBI

The Boys & Girls Club kitchen facilities were built in 2015 through the funding support of the County of Hawai‘i’s Office of Housing and Community Development. A community development block grant allowed the nonprofit organization to build a new commercial grade kitchen, which ultimately aided in the development of an island-wide daily nutritional supplementation program that supports over 1,000 income-challenged youth annually.

For many children that are homeless or a part of an income-challenged household, food security after the school day ends is a reality and a daily struggle.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s after-school youth nutritional supplementation program helps community children to acquire the meals and healthy snacks they may be going without.

Each day, free of charge, youth participants who attend BGCBI programs in Hilo, Kea’au, Pāhoa, Pahala, Ocean View, Kealakehe-Kona and Ulu Wini-Kona (the County-owned homeless and supportive family housing residential program) receive supplementation in the form of a full hot meal or healthy snacks.

It is the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s 2020 goal to build the capacity needed to expand the production and transportation of full hot evening meals for youth that are based out in Puna, Ka’u and Kona.

If you would like to contribute to this much needed youth support resource, contact Chad Cabral at 808-961-5536 for more information.

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