LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — About 500 people received a trip to Kauai as a recognition award from a Florida-based professional staffing company. KForce did not leave the island without leaving a nice gift behind.


KForce of Tampa, Fla. ended up packing 100,000 meals of lentil casserole in an operation set up Monday in a ballroom at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club. The meals are aimed at helping combat the effects of hunger and are easily digestible. All that is needed to prepare them is boiling water, according to the Garden Island ( ).

“It’s a nice place to come to,” said Ray Morganti, the KForce vice president of Talent Management Strategy. “We try to give back wherever we go to.”

KForce delegates were joined by community leaders, including Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., Brad Snyder, Steve Yannarell and Chuck Brady, other staff members of the Kauai Marriott, and leaders of the Hawaii Foodbank, Kauai Branch and the Kauai Independent Food Bank for a Monday exercise. KIFB board directors also joined in the packing. The meal preparation was done in partnership with the Feeding Children Everywhere program.

The packing took place in a ballroom where tables were set up with the goal of packing 50,000 meals within a 30-minute time span. With two sessions scheduled, 100,000 meals were packed within two hours.

The meals were all lentil casserole, Michelle Panoke, of Kauai’s branch of the Hawaii Foodbank, said.

The dish of lentils, rice, a blend of six dehydrated vegetables and pink Himalayan salt was selected because of its easily digestible source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

“We’ve done this as a way of giving back. Everything had to be shipped in, and once completed, the 100,000 meals stay on Kauai to help feed people,” Morganti said.