Malama Kauai, a nonprofit, and the County of Kauai Office of Economic Development are distributing two grants that will fund farmers and schools on Kauai, according to a news release.
The first grant provides a total of $50,000 to Kauai farmers who sell into food access channels, like food hub programs, farm-to-food bank efforts and programs that utilize Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Known as the Farmers Enhancing Equitable Development (or FEED) grant, the program will provide mini grants between $2,500 to $7,500 to 7 to 20 farmers. The grants will support farmers who want to grow new products or expand the production of in-demand products.
"It’s a unique opportunity to support some of our farmers who are dedicated to feeding our residents, especially our vulnerable community members who are the most challenged with food access," Megan Fox, executive director for Malama Kauai, said in the news release.
The second grant provides a total of $40,000 in local food donations that will be available to Kauai schools that want to pilot farm-to-school efforts. The Kauai Farm to School Grants will award credits to their kauailocalfood.com food hub to schools participating in the USDA’s meal programs, including the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. Schools will test local recipes with the goal of incorporating local produce into school meals. Awards will be distributed based on student enrollment and rates of free or reduced meal eligibility of its students.
“We hope that these programs can serve as examples of how local governments can continue to partner with impact-driven organizations like Malama Kauai to foster a more food-secure community and economically viable agriculture industry,” Niki Kunioka-Volz, agriculture economic development specialist at the County of Kauai said in the news release.
An informational session for the FEED grant will be held via Zoom on Nov. 17 from 3 to 4 p.m. Interested participants can register for the webinar here. Applications are due by Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.
Those interested in learning about the school program can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified of the program’s official launch.
Michelle Broder Van Dyke covers the Hawaiian Islands for Spectrum News Hawaii.