Healthy Food, Healthy Children Program Receives $28,000

Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00


The Kohala Center’s FoodCorps Hawai‘i program recently received a $28,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s Hawaii State Giving Council. Pictured outside the Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Kealakekua (left to right): Marley, service dog; Kayla Sinotte, FoodCorps Hawai‘i service member; Mālie Larish, FoodCorps Hawai‘i service member; Carly Wyman, FoodCorps Hawai‘i service member; Marlena Nip, FoodCorps Hawai‘i service member; John Yates, III, Store Manager of Kailua-Kona Walmart; Tara Sakamoto, FoodCorps Hawai‘i service member; Stephanie Loui, FoodCorps Hawai‘i service member; Seri Niimi-Burch, incoming FoodCorps fellow for Hawai‘i; and Nancy Redfeather, director of The Kohala Center’s Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network and FoodCorps Hawai‘i host site supervisor. Photo courtesy of The Kohala Center.

The Kohala Center’s FoodCorps Hawai‘i program received a $28,000 Walmart Foundation grant to address childhood obesity and food insecurity at 12 schools on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu.

The Walmart Foundation’s Hawaii State Giving Council grant will help fund FoodCorps Hawai‘i’s Healthy Food, Healthy Children initiative that supports underserved communities in 12 schools on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu during the 2016-17 school year.

One out of every three children in the US today is overweight or obese; in Hawai‘i, this statistic is even higher among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander keiki.

This often leads to chronic illnesses, absenteeism and lowered life expectancy.


“We’re grateful for Walmart’s continued support of our efforts to build healthier communities and a sustainable future for Hawai‘i, beginning with our children,” said Nancy Redfeather, director of The Kohala Center’s Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network. “Our FoodCorps Hawai‘i program aims to reach our most vulnerable populations and connect them to real, healthier, locally grown food while also helping them establish a greater appreciation of place.”

“Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation’s partnership with FoodCorps has created an opportunity to expand the reach of our ʻĀINA In Schools program by having the service member support the schools, educators, and docents with trainings and on-site mentorship in utilizing our existing program resources and materials,” said Natalie McKinney, executive director of Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation.

“Thanks to support from the Walmart Foundation, our FoodCorps Hawaiʻi service member has helped to bring structure, expertise, and enthusiasm to each campus, making connections, and sparking interest while allowing schools to maintain ownership of their food, garden and nutrition programs,” said McKinney.

“Having the service member work with three schools in one school complex has helped to facilitate collaboration, sharing of resources, and K-12 integration of the program, which can serve as a model for other complexes throughout the DOE,” said McKinney. “I encourage other businesses, like Walmart, to support Hawaiʻi programs which focus on health, wellness and ʻāina-based education.”


The FoodCorps Hawai‘i service sites for the 2016–17 school year are:

Hawai‘i Island

  • Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Sciences, Pāhoa
  • Hōlualoa Elementary School, Hōlualoa
  • Kealakehe Elementary School, Kealakehe
  • Kohala Elementary School, Kapa‘au
  • Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Kealakekua
  • Kua o ka Lā New Century Public Charter School, Pāhoa
  • Pa‘auilo Elementary School, Pa‘auilo
  • Waimea Elementary School, Waimea


  • Ka‘a‘awa Elementary School, Ka‘a‘awa*
  • Kahuku Elementary School, Kahuku*
  • Kamaile Academy, Wai‘anae
  • Lā‘ie Elementary School, Lā‘ie*

*Served by one service member through Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation


The Walmart Foundation’s Hawaii State Giving Council, comprised of local Walmart associates, reviews applications and determines the local grants. Other Hawai‘i non-profits are encouraged to apply for the final cycle of the 2016 Hawaii State Giving Council’s grants between June 27 and July 1, 2016. Minimum grant amounts are $25,000.

To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria.

Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online.

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments