Lifestyle

One Island Launches ‘Same Canoe Local Food Challenge’

September 6, 2015, 2:22 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 11:52 AM
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An ongoing project of the non-profit group One Island, called the “Same Canoe Local Food Challenge,” will launch at two local food celebrations during the month of September.

Food lovers will unite with food products and nutrition experts to share in the support of sustainable agriculture.

The South Kona Green Market will host the first event on Sept. 13, with a second event to follow on Sept. 19 at the Hawi Farmers’ Market.

“Choosing local food, I get the freshest flavors and optimal nutritional value available, with the fewest miles on it,” said Maureen Data of Adaptations Farm and Food hub in Kona. “I know my farmer and the farm’s methods and location, and sometimes the family being raised there. I realize that every dollar that I spend locally returns three times more money to our island economy.”

Both events will give the public an opportunity to enjoy local food while meeting the farmers who provide them. Music entertainment, as well as leaders in wellness and agriculture, will be present.

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At the South Kona Green Market, music by Hawaiian trio Mauka Soul is on the schedule. Councilwoman Maile David and Ken Love of Hawai’i Tropical Food Growers, will be present, along with cookbook author Sonia Martinez, Dr. Corinne de Soto and representatives from Adaptations Community Supported Agriculture, and the Ho’opomaika’i Community Health Initiative.

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The Hawi event will host guests Councilwoman Margaret Wille, Chef Stephen Rouelle of Under the Bodhi Tree, Slow Foods, Dr. Hana Roberts, Martinez, and a representative from the Lokahi Garden Sanctuary. Music at the Sept. 19 event will be provided by David Gomes.

“Local food production is vital to the North Kohala community,” said Lokahi Garden Sanctuary owner Richard Liebmann. “North Kohala historically has been providing healthy clean food to its community for many generations. Today more than ever local food production can play a pivotal role in connecting people, and providing healthy food choices.”

As part of the festivities, Same Canoe is hosting community action projects with film night, workshops, and farm tour events. Part of the project’s efforts is a pilot program where matching food coupons would be provided to 600 EBT/SNAP households in specific rural communities through a sponsorship from the USDA.

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EBT participants can submit their grocery receipts with fresh produce purchases and receive a one-to-one match for each $30 spent on produce. The match would come in the form of coupons redeemable at local food vendors, culinary and gardening classes, and farm tours, with a value of up to $120. Qualified interested participants can sign-up at the farmers’ market in Hawi, South Kona Green Market in Captain Cook, and the North Kona Sunset Market.

In addition to the EBT/SNAP program, Same Canoe is producing a local food coupon book that will offering dining, gardening, and wellness discounts for residents and visitors. The coupon book will be sold as a fundraiser for local school gardens and food, ag, and wellness organizations. Savings within the book will include coupons that can be redeemed at local grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, gift stores, wellness practitioners, farm and garden centers, and farm tours. Those interested can purchase the book through local farmers’ markets and through local groups.

“Food tastes so much better when you know the person who grew your vegetables or raised your meat or fed the chickens who laid your eggs. The food is fresher because it hasn’t been shipped here in a container and you’ll be supporting our local economy rather than a huge corporation somewhere thousands of miles away,” said Clare Bobo, President of Slow Food Hawai’i, a food advocacy group that will participate in the local food celebrations.

To learn more about the “Same Canoe Local Food Challenge,” visit the One Island website.

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