Keiki can explore foods of Hawai‘i in free book series produced by The Food Basket

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The Food Basket, Hawai‘i Island’s Food Bank, is continuing its mission to end hunger and fight chronic health conditions on the Big Island, despite navigating “the perfect storm” of food system challenges. One of its most recent initiatives is putting nutritional education directly in keiki hands.

Photos courtesy of The Food Basket, Hawai‘i Island’s Food Bank.

The Food Basket, through its DA BUX program, is funding the production of a children’s activity book series, “Kai and Hōkū Explore Foods of Hawai‘i,” to encourage families to get excited about exploring more local foods together. The series will be presented to families in the Kea‘au area, including those with students at Kea‘au Elementary School and Mountain View Elementary School, during an event from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria at Kea‘au High School.

The Hawai‘i Department of Education-sponsored event will include free distribution of the most recent book in the series, “Kai and Hōkū Explore Foods of Hawai‘i in the Hoʻoilo Wet Season.”

“Nutritional education for our keiki is an integral service of the DA BUX program,” said The Food Basket Executive Director Kristin Frost Albrecht. “Our goal is to increase DA BUX participation and ultimately address alarming public health concerns in the state through nutrition.”


The book series is the brainchild of DA BUX staff in partnership with authors Tiana Kamen, creator of Farm to online teaching resources, and Koh Ming Wei, executive director of the Center for Getting Things Started. Their second book, “Kai and Hōkū Explore Foods of Hawai‘i in the Ho‘oilo Wet Season,” was released Oct. 15 and offers hands-on learning activities and simple recipes for young food explorers.

With funding support from the Center for Getting Things Started and the Hawai‘i County Waiwai Grants-in-Aid program, 2,500 copies of the second book in the series are being distributed for free to early childcare providers and Hawai‘i Department of Education schools on the Big Island this fall. Free copies are also available to download here.

DA BUX Double Up Food Bucks operates statewide at more than 100 approved retail outlets, including grocery stores, farmers markets and food hubs. The program provides Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program EBT shoppers a 50% discount on Hawai‘i-grown produce, allowing families to make healthier options while on a budget.


For more information about The Food Basket and its programs or to make a donation to help the food bank replenish its shelves, click here.

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