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Feeding the Tropic Care Troops

Fire in the Sky. Daniel Lane photo

Fire in the Sky. Daniel Lane photo

From June 16 through June 26, approximately 280 reservists will provide free health care services, and at the same time, help them in their mission of being ready for rapid deployment. Tasting Kauai has teamed up with Rachelle Bachran, a health educator with the Hawaii State Department of Health, to replace the military’s MREs with delicious and nutritious meals. The soldiers will be working long hours under the tropical sun while dispensing their services, and we sure couldn’t let them do that on dehydrated Meals Ready to Eat (MREs).
Rachelle bought our book Tasting Kauai – Restaurants: From Food Trucks to Fine Dining, A Guide to Eating Well on the Garden Island at Blue House Booksellers in Kapaa, which, we are sorry to report, has relocated to Small Town Coffee. Rachelle found our guidebook useful when selecting healthy dining options on Kauai, and she thought our vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free notations were an added bonus. She liked it so much, she wanted to share it with the troops!
We are extremely honored, not only because as a health care educator Rachelle found our book useful, but because she wanted to work together to feed the troops. It was a last minute phone call, and other than the 34 Kauai-based locations where our book can be bought, I don’t have many on hand. I was with her though. I also wanted to make sure they ate well.
I sent an email out to restaurants near the areas where Tropic Care will be set up and asked if we could offer anything special. Quite a few replied, “Yes! Anything for the troops!” I’m writing this blog post to send a hearty mahalo to the following businesses who went out of their way to offer free or discounted meals. I’m hoping that in their support of our troops, you will support them. And thank you soldiers for sharing your mana’o (knowledge) and taking care of Kauai’s uninsured. We appreciate it and are grateful for your service!
Businesses offering free and discounted food to Tropic Care soldiers who show Tasting Kauai’s letter and a valid military ID are:

Kauai Beer Company
Paco’s Tacos House
Small Town Coffee
Papaya’s Natural Foods & Cafe
Passion Bakery & Cafe
MCS Grill
The Right Slice

In the spirit of staying in shape while having fun, also offered Tropic Care soldiers a discount on guided tours and locally made products.
Tropic-Care-KauaiTo enable residents and visitors to access free basic medical, dental and vision services through Tropic Care, the county will be offering free rides on all of The Kauai Bus routes from June 16 to June 26.
“We are pleased to partner once again with the Kauai District Health Office and the Department of Defense Reserve Affairs on Tropic Care, which is such a tremendous opportunity for our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. “Hopefully, those who take advantage of riding the bus for free, will see the benefits of public transportation and help us move towards becoming a more sustainable community.”
Come July 1, monthly bus passes will increase from $30 to $35 and the annual rate will rise from $300 to $350. Annual bus passes are available at the Kauai Bus office located at 3220 Hoolako Street in Lihue across from the Kauai Police Department headquarters.
Transportation Executive Celia Mahikoa noted that the increase in the cost of bus passes was recommended in the Kauai Multimodal Land Transportation Plan and approved in the FY2014 budget process. She said that the rate increase is necessary to cover a portion of the major changes in services offered over the last few years.
“We expanded our operations by about 35 percent adding Sunday service, extending hours on weekday, and providing additional routes during peak travel times,” said Mahikoa. “In addition, we hired a consultant to design shelters for all of our bus stops, and are scheduled to build several bus stops later this year.”
A complete listing of all bus routes can be found on The Kauai Bus website. Printed bus schedules are available on all county buses and at The Kauai Bus office. For more information, please call 246-8110 or visit The Kauai Bus website.