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The Food Basket Receives $500K USDA Grant

June 18, 2017, 1:00 PM HST (Updated June 18, 2017, 6:47 PM) · 0 Comments
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Da Bux Coordinator Chelsea Takahashi shows off a few items featured in the “Da Bux” program. Photo courtesy of The Food Basket.

The Food Basket, Inc.–a food bank on Hawai‘i Island–has been awarded a four-year U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant totaling $500,000.

The grant will allow the implementation of “Da Bux,” a new program supporting the purchase of Hawai‘i-grown fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income consumers who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Through the new initiative, The Food Basket is addressing food insecurity and health issues by providing SNAP recipients with affordable access to nutritious, locally-grown produce.

“We’ve been given an opportunity to do exciting work here on Hawai`i Island that will lead the state,” said En Young, executive director of The Food Basket. “Da Bux will expand our ability to assist local farmers and get people connected to the kinds of foods they deserve, while also modeling a food system that is accessible and equitable to all.”

The program will roll out over the next several months in partnership with KTA Super Stores, farmer’s markets that accept SNAP benefits, and Ho‘olaha Ka Hua “Da Box”–The Food Basket’s own community-supported agriculture program.

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“We have always wanted people to eat local, and now we’re going to make it even easier,” said Toby Taniguchi, president and CEO of KTA Super Stores. “For many decades, KTA has worked hard to support local farmers and entrepreneurs through the promotion of local goods.”

The Food Basket has partnered with the Fair Food Network (FFN) to start the program. FFN has experience implementing incentive programs nationwide and will share its expertise to increase healthy, local food consumption and support local growers.

The Food Basket is a food bank on Hawai‘i Island whose mission is to end hunger in Hawai‘i County.

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