The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has awarded the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation (HCF) a grant of $830,000 to provide small grants to community-based food security efforts statewide through its $3-million Emergency Relief Package. The grant supports HCF’s Strong Funds for each county, including Kauaʻi Strong, Oʻahu Strong, Maui County Strong, and Hawaiʻi Island Strong, created by HCF to build community resilience through providing disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

The program will support efforts rooted in aloha ʻāina, sustainability and agriculture to address COVID-19 related food needs. The program will fund a range of efforts that perpetuate cultural practices while providing or distributing food or agricultural products that benefit and sustain Native Hawaiians today and for the long-term.

“HCF is excited to partner with OHA to support community-based food security efforts to help feed and sustain people while perpetuating Native Hawaiian practices,” said Micah Kāne, CEO and President of HCF.

Over 60 community-based organizations supporting food security efforts in each of the four counties were invited to apply for funding through HCF, and grant awardees were selected in late July.

“We need to make sure that our ʻohana can put food on the table during this pandemic,” said OHA CEO Dr. Sylvia Hussey. “But for many of our communities, the crisis is making it hard to access food at affordable prices. So we are working with Hawaiʻi Community Foundation to support locally sourced food from area farmers and producers, and to help individuals who rely on fishing and other subsistence practices to mālama their families. Our hope is to help reinforce the resiliency and strength of our communities.”