Mahi Pono prepares food boxes for keiki

Mahi Pono packing shed crew members fill boxes with food for the Kaukau 4 Keiki Program Thursday morning. The Kaukau 4 Keiki program attempts to address the youth food access gap by providing students with a weekly box of food, delivered directly to students’ homes, for families who cannot access state Department of Education distribution sites. Each box contains milk, bread, protein and fresh Maui produce and is delivered by a team of community members. Most of the food is boxed by Mahi Pono, which provides fresh produce and sources additional produce from Maui farmers. Boxes for children in Hana include Hana-grown produce and protein and are boxed and distributed by the Hawaii Farmer’s Union United Hana Chapter. The boxes packed Thursday included watermelon, squash, string beans, bok choy cabbage, kale, bread, milk and peanut butter. On Maui and Lanai, 600 children will be served weekly.

SECOND PHOTO: Funding for the food comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in partnership with Hawaii First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige and the City & County of Honolulu. The fiscal agent for the program that runs June 17 to July 30 is Maui United Way. The Maui funder is Nuestro Futuro Foundation of Haiku, and community supporters include: Mahi Pono, HFUU Hana Chapter, Hawaii Food Service Alliance, Sensei Lanai, and Maui and Hana farmers.

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