Second Kokua Puna container ships today

Volunteer Joe Tolbe works with Ellen Federoff to load a shipping container headed to victims of the Big Island eruption at the Kahului Shopping Center parking lot. Also in the container, partially obscured, is Michele Navarro Ishiki. MAHINA MARTIN photo

The Maui News

A 20-foot shipping container packed with goods donated in a two-day drive over the weekend for the victims of the Big Island volcanic eruption sails for Hilo today, an organizer of Kokua Puna said Monday.

More than 20 volunteers were kept busy on Saturday and Sunday in the Kahului Shopping Center parking lot, collecting nonperishable food, water, camping gear, pet food and baby diapers.

The drive also collected nearly $3,000 in cash and store gift cards.

The shipment is expected to arrive at Hilo harbor early next week and will be received by the nonprofit Food Basket Hawaii, which will coordinate the distribution of donated items to evacuees and frontline community groups that are providing services and support to impacted areas.

The group has warehouse space and a staff and volunteer structure to distribute the donations to evacuees and to support groups working directly with those affected by the eruption, said Mahina Martin, who with Tiare Lawrence and Zeke Kalua organized Kokua Puna.

They learned from Hawaii Lava Flow Animal Rescue Network, that there was a need for pet food and supplies, said Martin. Included in the container are 200 cases and large bags of pet food.

Martin, Lawrence and Kalua lauded the generosity of the givers and the support from Young Brothers, Quick Tow, Alexander & Baldwin, Na’auao Traffic Control and Maui Gold-Haliimaile Distilling Co.

This is the second container filled with relief goods sent to the victims of the Puna eruption in the past three weeks.

Martin, Lawrence and Kalua also organized a shipment of relief items to the victims of severe flooding on Kauai in April.