Honolulu angel

4 10 2017

Blessed is she who feeds the homeless and the hungry. “She” is an island woman named Kiana.

Every Wednesday around half past noon, more or less, a group of adults gather outside of the Library of Hawaii main branch near the gate to Iolani Palace for what might be their only square meal of the week. They wait quietly and politely for Kiana to faithfully arrive in her car with a delicious buffet lunch.

Here, on Likelike street, is the quiet and peaceful stage of Feed the Street. People come, they eat, they go.

She opens the trunk and unloads a tablecloth first, then an attractive spread of a home cooked lunch, including soup. The meal is free to anyone in need.

Kiana arrives. Next to the bicycle racks she sets down tablecloths to receive a car trunk load of prepared casseroles and other dishes.

Amidst the unfortunate circumstances in our country today, this kind and humble compassionate gesture begins earlier in the week with donations of raw produce from farmers and others who have a surplus or who just are more fortunate and want to give.

I have known Kiana to travel by city bus to far places on the island to pick up ingredients. She prepares the food by herself because her small studio kitchen has no room for a sous chef. I think it gives her great joy to express her creativity in this way.

Each week she publicly extends her gratitude for her “Feed the Street” project on a Facebook group called “Too Much Balances Not Enough,” listing the donors and their contributions. That is where I first learned about this activity.

Today I wanted to see a part of Kiana’s world. I put together some small zip top bags of feminine hygiene products, that I learned are very appreciated in addition to food, and went down to Likelike street. Like clockwork, people slowly began to congregate–about 12 when I first arrived and building to 24 or 30 when I left.

Hungry folks wait politely for lunch. They have much respect for Kiana who provides the food for free. Iolani Palace and downtown Honolulu are in the background.

Later Kiana said, in all 70 showed up today. She reported the women liked my small contribution that also contained items like toothbrushes, travel soaps and hand lotion, and that the men were disappointed that there weren’t any condoms.

I know there are those who are wary of homeless people, and that to befriend them would be out of their comfort zone. They don’t feel safe. Indeed, reaching out can be a problem, and Feed the Street has experienced harassment. (Having a sheriff or a cop in the vicinity might be a good idea!)

It’s not so hard to reach out with kindness to make a stranger’s hard circumstances a little better, I found out. You can bet the homeless don’t always feel safe themselves, but you could tell they trust Kiana.

Kiana is a cheerful, woman warrior. Thank you, Kiana. I love you, angel.

Today’s spread is all vegan except for one dish that contains pork. Kiana told me she likes to prepare 14 different menu items.

Everything is nutritious and tastes as good as it looks.

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