Kaukau 4 Keiki, World Oceans Day and ‘Ohana Readers

Posted on Jun 25, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

Thousands of keiki in Hawai‘i’s rural areas will have easier access to healthy food this summer, thanks to the new “Kaukau 4 Keiki” program launched last month. The partnership of government, private and community partners is providing weekly breakfast and lunch meal kits for children with zip codes starting with 967—statewide. Families can receive weekly kits of breakfast and lunch items through July 31 by signing up at www.kaukau4keiki.org or calling 2-1-1. Currently, because of high demand, families will be placed on a waiting list and will be notified on a first come, first served basis.

The new Kaukau 4 Keiki program is providing weekly meal kits to rural areas statewide.

The new Kaukau 4 Keiki program is providing weekly meal kits to rural areas statewide.

With some students living in communities 45 minutes from school, it’s not practical for a family to  drive down every day to pick up just one lunch,” said Mrs. Ige, who helped spearhead the project. “After visiting Ka‘ū High School, we learned that teachers were filling the gaps. We wanted to support that effort and do our part to provide food in a way that works for families.” Dexter Kishida, one of the county coordinators, said so far the program is able to help more than 7,320 children, but they hope to increase that number with more community support as well as offer the program every year. The DOE’s Grab-and-Go summer meal program is also continuing through July 19 at 80 school sites statewide. Students can get a lunch and a breakfast for the following day to help provide them with nutritious food.

Nicole Yamase and deep sea explorer Victor Vescovo.

Nicole Yamase and deep sea explorer Victor Vescovo.

‘Ōlelo Channel 53’s “Conversations with the First Lady” will feature the book “Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere,” a little-known true story of two explorers successfully engineering the first bathysphere, a hollow metal ball used to study and maneuver through deep sea waters. The installment also spotlights Nicole Yamase, the first Pacific Islander to reach Mariana Trench’s lowest point, the Challenger Deep, which lies nearly seven miles below the ocean surface. Yamase is a UH doctoral student studying the effects of climate change on marine plants. “I asked her what she would say to students who are interested in STEM fields,” continued Mrs. Ige. “She said to work hard and not be afraid to ask questions because if she can do it, others can do it too.” The segment, which originally aired in June for World Oceans Day, repeats on July 4, 11, and 18 at 5:30 p.m.

The ‘Ohana Readers project is expanding to Waimea and Kekaha on Kaua‘i.

The ‘Ohana Readers project is expanding to Waimea and Kekaha on Kaua‘i.

The First Lady, who chairs the National Governors Association Spouses’ Leadership Committee, convened its summer meeting — this time to call attention to children’s mental health. “Because of COVID-19, families have had to deal with unemployment, food insecurity and financial struggles. Children had to make a lot of adjustments in a short period of time,” she said. “We need to be aware of their mental health because if they’re not ready emotionally and behaviorally, then the academic portion will be even more difficult.” Mrs. Ige also traveled to Kaua‘i to highlight the Hawai‘i State Public Library System’s summer reading program and her ‘Ohana Readers project, which is expanding to Waimea and Kekaha. Families with children age 4 and younger in those zip codes can register at the Waimea Public Library, call (808) 338-6848 or email [email protected] to have free, high-quality books mailed to them.

 

Read more in the July Capitol Connection newsletter.

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