OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR NEWS RELEASE: KAUKAU 4 KEIKI PARTNERSHIP TO PROVIDE HEALTHY FOODS TO CHILDREN IN RURAL AREAS THIS SUMMER

Posted on Jun 3, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU  – A new partnership between the government, private and community partners is working to provide easier access to healthy foods for children living in Hawai‘i’s rural areas.

The Kaukau 4 Keiki partnership will provide weekly breakfast and lunch meal kits for children 18 and under in rural communities with zip codes starting with “967—”.  The weekly meal kits will be available from June 7 for Oʻahu and June 14 for neighbor islands and will run through July 31.

“It’s difficult for children in some areas to make it to a school for a single Grab-and-Go meal during the summer months. Through Kaukau 4 Keiki, many groups have come together to fill this need, and I want to thank all the partners,” said Hawaiʻi’s first lady, Dawn Amano-Ige.

“It’s just something we knew we had to do for our keiki. Every child should have access to healthy nutritious food year-round, and transportation can be a real barrier to that during the summer,” said Dexter Kishida, Food Security and Sustainability program manager for the City and County of Honolulu.

The Kaukau 4 Keiki Coalition includes food access coordinators on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui and Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i Child Nutrition Program, Kahumana Food Hub & Organic Farms (Oʻahu), Mālama Kaua‘i (Kaua‘i), No Kid Hungry, USDA Summer Food Services Program, Vibrant Hawaii (Hawai‘i island), and Hawaiʻi Foodservice Alliance.

“We are grateful for the support of so many partners during this challenging time.  The flexibility provided by the USDA waivers allowed the use of resources we already had in place like the Summer Food Service Program which is a federally funded, state-administered program that reimburses program operators who serve free healthy meals and snacks to children and teens,” said Sharlene Wong, program administrator for the Hawai‘i Child Nutrition Program (HCNP).

Families can sign up online to receive a meal box for their keiki at www.kaukau4keiki.org or call 2-1-1 if they do not have access to the internet. Funding is very limited, and applications will be approved on a first come first served basis.

Families will be contacted by community organizations on the designated date, organizations will deliver a box of fresh veggies, fruits, meat and grains or will provide designated pick up hours.

“This is a great opportunity to implement a farm-to-school model during the summer months to support our families and food producers,” said Megan Fox, executive director of Mālama Kaua‘i. Meal kits will vary from island to island, as program hosts will make every effort to support local farmers, ranchers, and food producers with the USDA program’s food purchasing dollars.

In addition to Kaukau 4 Keiki, the Department of Education’s Summer Meals Program begins June 4 for children ages 18 and younger, regardless of enrollment status. For a list of participating schools, click here for more information.

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