Breadfruit Harvest for Hunger Project

COULD BREADFRUIT HELP ALLEVIATE GLOBAL AND LOCAL HUNGER?

The newly launched Breadfruit Harvest for Hunger project harvests breadfruit in Kona and distributes it to the food insecure. The project is based upon the simple fact that there are many people on Hawai‘i Island without enough nutritious food to eat, and at the same time there are literally tons of breadfruit that are not being harvested and eaten. Breadfruit (‘ulu) is a local, abundant and nutritious food that can be used to alleviate hunger in Hawai‘i.

Breadfruit

Breadfruit is a traditional staple crop throughout the Pacific region. According to Dr. Diane Ragone, Director of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, more than 80% of the world’s hungry live in tropical and subtropical regions where ecological conditions are suitable for cultivating breadfruit. Just like in Hawai‘i, many people in the tropics have high food, fuel, and fertilizer costs and need sustainable, low-input crops. Many island nations are turning to breadfruit as a solution.

According to a survey done by Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network, people who grow breadfruit reported that 46% is wasted. At the same time, many of Hawai‘i’s families are food insecure—lacking access to affordable and nutritious food.

In its first month of operation, Breadfruit Harvest for Hunger harvested, distributed and processed over 500 pounds of breadfruit.

The project builds relationships with landowners who have excess breadfruit and forms an agreement to harvest. The breadfruit is then distributed through social service agencies such as the Kealakehe Meet and Eat, Ocean View Food Basket and Hawai‘i Island Youth Corps. Excess breadfruit is processed and frozen for future use by the West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program.

The Breadfruit Harvest for Hunger project was started with the support of the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. It is an initiative of Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—a project to revitalize ‘ulu (breadfruit) as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food which addresses Hawai’i’s food security issues.  The Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project is led by Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

The project is seeking additional partnerships with landowners who have excess breadfruit and agencies that serve the food insecure.  For more information or to donate breadfruit from your trees, please email hooulu@hawaiihomegrown.net or call Andrea Dean at 960-3727. More information about the project can be found at www.breadfruit.info.

One Response

  1. This is a great program. I encourage people to follow and support it.

    Thanks for sharing this Damon!!

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