In honor of MLK Day

First photo: Kathy Sakai (right), wife of Kaiser Permanente physician Leonard Sakai, volunteers with others at the Hui Malama Learning Center to help expand the school’s sustainable garden in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday morning. About 80 volunteers from Kaiser Permanente Hawaii and Hui Malama built beds, laid landscape fabric and planted various fruits and vegetables. Representatives from Kaiser Permanente said that the effort was organized after Kaiser’s showing of the documentary “The Weight of the Nation” during the summer. “We are proud to celebrate Dr. King’s life by providing valuable services to our communities and further advancing the Kaiser Permanente legacy that parallels Dr. King’s values,” said Dr. David Ulin, Kaiser Permanente’s physician in charge on Maui. Hui Malama Executive Director Pualani Enos said that the goal of the project, which started last year, is to use the fresh produce to feed the school and local community. “There are so many parts of our population that don’t have access to fresh produce,” she said. “It’s too expensive to them. They’re used to buying processed foods, which is much easier and has longer shelf life. These kinds of foods, you really need to plan ahead . . . but they’re so much better for your body.”

Second photo: Shanelle Kaauamo (left), a programs specialist at Hui Malama Learning Center, and Ashlee Palimoo work at the school’s sustainable garden.