As the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts food systems nationwide, more than 30 Hawaii nonprofits will receive a total of $721,739 in funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to improve food security in Native Hawaiian communities.

The grants support the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Strong Funds for each county — Kauai Strong, Oahu Strong, Maui County Strong, and Hawaii Island Strong — which were created by HCF to build community resilience by providing resources for disaster preparedness and recovery.

Nonprofits receiving the funding have demonstrated an ability to address COVID-related food needs while integrating aloha aina, sustainability and local agriculture into their programs. The food security grants funding comes from a portion of the $3 million Emergency Relief Package approved in May by the OHA Board of Trustees.

The grant money will fund programs including an initiative to revive community taro farming on Hawaiian homesteads on Kauai, the development of a community garden in Waimanalo on Oahu and a project to reestablish a native forest and provide education about canoe plants in Lahaina on Maui.

OHA partnered with HCF to ensure that its food security grants are distributed quickly, according to a press release.

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