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Here's how a musubi truck is helping Kauaʻi keiki eat this winter

the musubi truck food truck Kauaʻi
The Musubi Truck
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Parked in the heart of Kauaiʻi's quaint Kapaʻa is a musubi food truck with a mission.

The Musubi Truck's Feed Our Keiki program is distributing free bentos to children who miss school lunch during this winter break.

"Sometimes no school means no lunch for some kids," said Kelly Kakalia, a co-owner of the truck.

About 20% of the island's households relied on food distribution programs during the pandemic, according to the state's Department of Health.

"A lot of these kids are in these programs because they can't be at home or maybe they're seeking out more positive environments," said Nicolette Aguinaldo, a co-owner of the truck.

Feeding America reports that about 1 in 4 children on Kauaʻi experience food insecurity. That equates to about 4,000 keiki island-wide.

With the average meal cost on Kauaʻi being close to $4, The Musubi Truck hopes that donations this season can make an impact on child food insecurity in the community.

The Feed Our Keiki program began in 2021, when they distributed nearly 2,000 lunches during winter break last year.

The truck distributes voucher cards to school counselors, coaches, teachers and nonprofit programs that work closely with children. The organizations then hand out the vouchers to the kids as they see fit. One voucher can be redeemed for one "keiki meal."

The Feed Our Keiki program is available throughout the year, but their goal is to distribute 4,000 meals this season.

More information and ways to help the Feed Our Keiki program can be found at The Musubi Truck's website.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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