The new partnerhship Kaukau 4 Keiki will provide healthy food during the summer for children living in rural areas of Hawaiʻi.
Weekly breakfast and lunch meal kits will be provided for children 18-and-under in rural communities with zip codes starting with “967″. The weekly meal kits will be available from June 7 for Oʻahu and June 14 for neighbor islands. The program runs through July 31.
“It’s difficult for children in some areas to make it to a school for a single Grab-and-Go meal during the summer months,” said Hawaiʻi’s first lady, Dawn Amano-Ige. “Through Kaukau 4 Keiki, many groups have come together to fill this need, and I want to thank all the partners.”
The Kaukau 4 Keiki Coalition of government, private and community groups includes: food access coordinators on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui and Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i Child Nutrition Program, Kahumana Food Hub & Organic Farms (Oʻahu), Mālama Kaua‘i (Kaua‘i), No Kid Hungry, USDA Summer Food Services Program, Vibrant Hawaiʻi (Hawai‘i island) and Hawaiʻi Foodservice Alliance.
“It’s just something we knew we had to do for our keiki,” said Dexter Kishida, Food Security and Sustainability program manager for the City and County of Honolulu. “Every child should have access to healthy nutritious food year-round, and transportation can be a real barrier to that during the summer.”
Sharlene Wong, program administrator for the Hawai‘i Child Nutrition Program (HCNP), said the flexibility provided by the USDA waivers allowed the use of resources already in place, including the federally funded, state-administered Summer Food Service Program that reimburses program operators who serve free healthy meals and snacks to children and teens.
Families can sign up online to receive a meal box for their keiki at www.kaukau4keiki.org or call 2-1-1 if they do not have access to the internet. Funding is very limited, and applications will be approved on a first-come first-served basis.
Families will be contacted by community organizations. On the designated date, organizations will deliver a box of fresh veggies, fruits, meat and grains or will provide designated pick-up hours.
Meal kits will vary from island to island, as program hosts will make every effort to support local farmers, ranchers, and food producers with the USDA program’s food purchasing dollars.
In addition to Kaukau 4 Keiki, the Department of Education’s Summer Meals Program began today for children ages 18-and-younger, regardless of enrollment status. For a list of participating schools, click here for more information.