Pāhoa Community Farmer’s Market Launches Sunday

October 1, 2020, 1:51 PM HST (Updated October 1, 2020, 1:51 PM)
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Hawai’i County Councilman Matthew Kaneali’i-Kleinfelder.

Pāhoa District Park will serve as home to the Big Island’s newest farmer’s market.

Sponsored by the Hawai‘i Food Basket, in partnership with Kanaka Ha‘aheo and the Office of Hawai‘i County Councilmember Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder, the Pāhoa Community Farmer’s Market will offer local wares to the public for the first time on Sunday, Oct. 4. Vendors will set up at the Pāhoa District Park, just above the skate park area.

What was originally supposed to be a three-week endeavor, the transition of the market from the old Nanawale Community Association Farmer’s Market to the new name and venue in Pāhoa took 10 months to complete. Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder, who began pressing the idea in November of last year, said the hold-up was mostly COVID-related.

“We started working on this in 2019. Previous council members had set up the ability for certain parks in the county to host a farmers market,” he said. “Standing on their work, I was able to nail down with the (Department of Parks and Recreation) the use of the Pāhoa park as a farmer’s market area.”

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“Then COVID delayed everything.”

Hawai‘i Food Basket was brought in as a partner, agreeing to function as the market’s fiscal sponsor, insurance carrier, and primary guiding entity. Auntie Madie Greene and Kanaka Ha‘aheo will serve as the managing entity on the ground, dealing with vendors and the like.

The Pāhoa Community Farmer’s Market will work with around 20 vendors to start, and may grow down the line. Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder described Sunday as a “soft opening” to make sure everything runs smoothly.

The county has set a $5 maximum charge for any vendor to set up shop. However, contingency relief funds will cover that cost for the foreseeable future. There are some requirements, including what kind of goods and can be sold.

“We always talk about sustainability, resiliency, renewable (resources), and job creation,” the councilman said. “In this manner, we can provide a market in Pāhoa Town that brings people to the town center, give vendors a fairly inexpensive way to provide goods to the community, and bolster the economy.”

Malama O Puna will be on-site, handing out masks and sanitizers provided via CARES Act funding, county resources, and support from Kanealii-Kleinfelder’s office. All social distancing guidelines apply, meaning masks will be mandatory.

Vendors interested in procuring a spot should contact Gloria at (808)-896-8393.

Max Dible
Max Dible is the News Director for both Big Island Now and Kauai Now. He also serves as News Director for Pacific Media Group's Hawai‘i Island family of radio stations. He formerly worked as a community reporter for West Hawai‘i Today in Kailua-Kona from 2016 to 2019. Before that, he was a sports editor, sports reporter, and radio talk show personality covering college athletics in Iowa. He's won several regional and national journalism awards, at both the collegiate and professional levels, for breaking news, long-form feature writing, and his work as a sports columnist.

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