Ka Wai Ola

Dan Ahuna, Vice Chair, Trustee, Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau

Aloha from Kauaʻi!

During these challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic it is important to support our kūpuna and beneficiaries. I would like to introduce Pelika Andrade and Emily Cadiz. I was fortunate and honored to kōkua them in delivering fresh produce, vegetables and local meats. Both were key players in supporting LOCAL, our local producers, farmers and ranchers. As a community volunteer, I learned the importance of local agriculture and sustainability within our own communities, ahupuaʻu and moku. I am excited to share the work of Pelika and Emily, and their passion to support local agriculture and sustainability on Kauaʻi and across the pae ʻāina.

Trustee Dan Ahuna

In this current circumstance of COVID-19, we once again are reminded of how important our local food systems are to the resiliency of our island home. As we work to get fresh, local produce and products out to our community and into homes, it is just as important to provide our farmers and producers with a loyal and committed customer base to ensure they continue to plan, grow and provide food for the future. The instability of how consumers (our communities) shop now directly impacts how and what farmers grow for the future.

Our organization, Nā Maka Onaona, and partners ʻĀina Hoʻokupu o Kīlauea, UH Sea Grant, OHA and Kamehameha Schools are working hard to help bridge the gap between the consumer and producer, helping to establish a loyal and committed consumer (community) base by providing a way for the community-at-large to access and, in some cases, be introduced to existing local food sources. We are using the current situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to help shift our food systems into a co-dependent localized partnership between producers and consumers; between farmers and community members.

From the end of March and into April, we reached approximately 350 households across the island of Kauaʻi from Kīlauea to Kekaha. We were able to service over 1,000 people continuously over the course of those seven weeks, distributing approximately 1,400 produce boxes. These deliveries were just a fraction of the overall produce being distributed across the island of Kauaʻi by ʻāina Hoʻokupu o Kīlauea (AHK) who also partnered with the Adopt-a-Kupuna/COVID19 community relief fund that distributed hundreds of produce bags to elders and families on the North Shore. This program is one of many here on Kauaʻi, and it would not be possible without all the support from volunteers and local organizations/businesses. These past few months have been a beautiful reminder of the resilience and collaborative capacity found in our communities.

I lā maikaīi,
Pelika Andrade