Big Island Newcomers, Food Trucks Raise Funds For Food Basket
It’s never too early to make a great first impression, or an impact on one’s new community.
The Kona Newbies, a local group of new-to-the-island residents, has teamed up with the founders of Food Truck Friday and owners of Pizza Rovers, Louise and Lon Jeremy Ungerman, to help feed the hungry this holiday season.
Together, they work to raise funds and collect donated food items every Friday from 4–7 p.m. at the food truck event held in the HPM parking lot in Kailua-Kona. On Saturdays, they continue their efforts at Sweet and Savory Saturday events held in the Lowe’s parking lot.
The grassroots food drive brought in $1775 in cash donations and 226 pounds of food over Thanksgiving weekend, which was delivered to The Food Basket-Hawai‘i Island’s Food Bank on Monday. The goal is to raise $5,000 by Dec. 19.
“When I witnessed the hundreds of cars lining up at the food drop at the Old Airport last month and found out the Food Basket donated over 100,000 pounds of food, I knew community help was needed,” said Julie Ziemelis, founder of the Kona Newbies group.
“I was able to rally volunteers from my Kona Newbies group on Facebook to fill two time slots on both Friday and Saturday. The Ungermans offered us space to put up a tent at Food Truck Friday and Saturday events to collect both monetary and food donations.”
Along with providing room to operate, the Ungermans spearheaded an initiative whereby food trucks offer a discount or gift with a coupon, which donors receive when they drop off their donations or write a check to the cause.
“We want to give back a little and help those who are struggling right now,” Louise Ungerman said. “We are hoping to help fill the gap, so we encourage everyone to bring your non-perishable donation down to Food Truck Friday or Saturday.”