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Nonprofits awarded $700K to help support farming, food security

The Maui News

Six nonprofits have been awarded grants to help support farmers and food security as well as youth and workforce development, Maui County announced this week.

A total of $700,000 was distributed to:

• Maui United Way, which was awarded a $360,000 grant for its Maui Foster Farm project, also called Hawaii Taro Farm LLC: A Proposed Model for Agriculture Development. It helps small family taro farmers build their financial and production capacity, Mayor Michael Victorino said in a news release.

• The University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, which received a $150,000 grant to assist 32 families from Hana, Lanai and Kula who plant, cultivate, harvest and prepare food from their gardens. The college’s curriculum includes seed saving, composting and other strategies to lower gardening costs and help build self-sufficiency.

• Grow Some Good, which got a $100,000 grant for its Maui School Garden Network, Farm to School Program. Volunteers connect Maui Nui keiki with their food, environment and culture with garden-based educational experiences. The program’s aim is to grow a resilient, diversified and healthy agricultural workforce in Maui County.

• BioBamboo Inc., doing business as Food Security Hawaii, which was given a $35,000 grant for its Ohana Gardens project. The initiative supports food security and Hawaiian farming and develops skills for residents to prepare healthy food, compost, save seeds, grow orchards and save money on food purchases.

• Common Ground Collective, which was awarded a $30,000 grant for its Maui Foster Farm Project. The nonprofit harvests food from residents’ yards and distributes the produce to local nonprofits to feed residents in need or sells to local businesses to reduce reliance on imported food. Last year, the organization harvested and distributed more than 42,000 pounds of produce that otherwise would’ve gone to waste.

• Maui Food Technology Center, which received a $25,000 grant for its Maui Sunday Market, a weekly event showcasing Maui County vendors, food trucks, farmers, food purveyors and others.

For more information about grants, visit the Office of Economic Development website at mauicounty.gov/141/Office-of-Economic-Development or call (808) 270-7710.

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