St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii
Outreach Ministries

KOKUA FOOD BASKET is an outreach program of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Waimanalo Hawai’i. St. Matthew’s is a Mission Church of The Episcopal Church in Hawai'i and is a fully qualified non profit organization within the State of Hawai’i. Each year Kokua Food Basket serves more than 5,000 people.

Established in August 1984, Kokua Food Basket has continually provided food distribution to houseless and limited income persons in Waimanalo. Each Wednesday, approximately 40 persons who are houseless or who have limited economic resources gather at St. Matthew's for Kokua Food Basket to receive packages of food. These 40 clients represent families which include many more people who are touched by the program through those who actually gather at St. Matthew’s each week.

Kokua Food Basket, as an outreach program, is deeply rooted in fulfilling the Mission Statement of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Waimanalo in working to: renew all things in Christ; serve and celebrate God the Father, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit through ministry to and with one another, the community and the world. [Adopted by the Bishops Committee on the Feast day of William Law, Priest (1761) on April 9, 1994.]

At any time between the weekly distributions of food, persons who have emergency food needs can call for assistance and will be serviced by the programs volunteers. Even during two "vacation" periods each year emergency needs continue to be met.

Volunteers go to Food Bank Hawai’i, Safeway in Kailua and Costco in Hawai’i Kai to gather items which will be packaged for distribution at the church by the faithful and loyal program volunteers.

We ask people to come to the regular weekly distribution in-order to receive food as part of the means by which we, as individuals take direct responsibility of ourselves -- part of being present and growing in maturity. Two exceptions to this policy has applied to those who have been new to living on the beach or in enclaves.

Prayers are offered when we gather each Wednesday reminding all of us of the love of Akua (God) and the free offering of gifts by Akua in creation which surrounds and richly enhances our lives and in relationships which nurture, affirm and enrich our lives. We are reminded that our goal is to live pono, in harmony within ourselves and our immediate family and the community and world beyond. It is our God invites us to live our lives that reflect lives lived in movement toward health, wholeness and holiness.

Since 1993 Kokua Food Basket has prepared Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner for its clients. The first year of holiday dinner service, sit down dinners were provided. We found that one or two members of a family might come for the meal while several other members of a family unit would not, for whatever reason. The second year, 1994, Kokua Food Basket began preparing and distributing "bento style" Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for our clients to take "home".. The bento program results in approximately 160 meals being "served" during each holiday. A bento is the local style box lunch served at the very popular Lunch Wagons seen around the islands and at many take out and even at up-scale restaurants in Hawai'i.

The highlight of each program year is the gathering at Christmas when we have a "hymn sing" and toy distribution around the Christmas tree at church for the children of our clients. It is a great gathering and a lot of fun for all.

In addition to the services already described, Kokua Food Basket also collects and distributes items of clothing as well as bed linens and towels. It is not unusual for the program volunteers to rent a truck so they can pick up contributions from a hotel that is being renovated.... In turn contributed items are given to those who are houseless and in need within Waimanalo.

Kokua Food Basket is a worthy recipient of contributions in support of its work. In addition to food, toys, linens, towels, blankets and the program also needs funds to pay for equipment, utilities, security, automobile fuel, insurance, maintenance for equipment and the van used for picking up and delivering food, truck rentals when needed and all contributions are appreciated.

Kokua Food Basket was the recipient of the First Lady’s, Volunteer Program of the Year award in 1994. And, Kokua Food Basket originators and driving forces in the persons of: Nickie Hines received recognition for her work as a Volunteer of the Year by the Governor in 1997 and  Dayton Carter received recognition for his volunteer work by the City and County of Honolulu.

PRISON MINISTRY is another St. Matthew's outreach program deeply rooted in the congregations mission statement as it contributes to the renewal of all things in Christ; serving and celebrating God the Father, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit through Pastoral Counseling and related ministry with special focus at the Women's Community Correctional Center and Halawa Correctional Facility on O'ahu. Other facilities, including the Hawai'i Youth Facility, are provided with services when requested.

Pastoral Counseling is provided for up to 25 men and women each week. Annualizing the number of persons served with this ministry results in 1,000 women, men and youth being provided with direct ministry. Most program participants are of Hawaiian ancestry and are seeking to learn how to live pono through the learning and applying of traditional Hawaiian values to their lives. A direct link is established between traditional Hawaiian values and the teachings and Word of God so as to develop the ability to live life in accord with both the values of the Hawaiian community and the community at large. The principal underlying this work is that in knowing and living in accord with traditional Hawaiian values and the teachings of Jesus will result in living lives that result in living free from incarceration ....

The Bible texts used as the basis for Pastoral Counseling include:

Resources include but are not limited to:

1. The Life Recovery Bible; Edited by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop; TyndaleHouse Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois; 1992; ISBN 0-8423-2083.

2. Records of the Life of Jesus; Henry Burton Sharman, Ph.D.; Sequoia Seminar Foundation, Palo Alto; 1917.

3. [The Bible Based] Life Recovery Guides (16); Juanita & Dale Ryan; InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois 1990, 1992 & 1993; ISBN 0-8308-1164-8 Workaholism), 1159-1 (Spiritual Abuse), 1153-2 (Shame), 1157-5 (Loss), 1160-5 (Fear), 1151-6 (Family Dysfunctions), 1162-1 (Distorted Images of Self), 1152-4 (Distorted Images of God), 1161-3 (Depression), 1156-7 (Codependency), 1165-6 (Broken Relationships), 1154-0 (Bitterness), 1158-3 (Abuse), 1166-4 (A Lifelong Journey), 1163-X (Guilt), 1155-9 (Addictions).

4. Hawaiian Traditions and Values as passed on to Kahu [Pastor, Fr., Rev. ....]

5. Ku Kanaka; George Hu’eu Sanford Kanahele; University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu, Hawai’i, 1986; ISBN 0-8248-1500-9.

6. Na Hana a ka Po’e Kahiko; Samuel Manaiakalani Kamakau; Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, Hawai’i, 1976.

7. Na Pule Kahiko; Assembled by June Gutmanis; Editions Limited, Honolulu, Hawai’i, 1983.

8. ‘Olelo No’eau; Mary Kawena Pukui, Editor; Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, Hawai’i, 1983; ISBN 0-910240-93-0.

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